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The Post Office takeover
The Post Office takeover of the infant telephone network was greeted with relief at the time.

Many felt the private companies had made an unimpressive job of providing high quality and good value phone services and most Britons were not sorry to see the service taken over by the General Post Office (GPO).

With the change came new bodies charged with talking to telephone users - or 'subscribers' as they were called then.
The national network
By the 1930s, Britain had built itself a fully switched, long distance, national telephone network. The trunk was the core of long distance lines linking the major cities of Britain. The branches were the feeder lines that came off the network to supply individual exchanges.

The new network made it ever easier for people to call long distance. But phone users needed to be told the new capability was there.
fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

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100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...