• Short Summary

    Fascinating glimpse inside London's Overseas Telephone Exchange - we get to eavesdrop on a few calls to foreign lands.

  • Description

    Full titles read: "The World's Switchboard! The Overseas Telephone Exchange, London, is the connecting link between the telephone services of the world, and one can talk through here to 95% of the world's telephone subscribers - an amazing development."


    Various shots of women working in the Overseas Telephone Exchange; they are seen sitting at massive switchboards and putting slips of paper into little slots in a table (intertitle says these are 'slips' for 'calls', but does not explain further - perhaps they are requests for overseas calls).

    Great tracking shots along lines of women in headphones at the switchboards as we hear them babbling away in foreign languages. Signs above the boards give the names of cities overseas. We hear some dialogue between two men, one in New York and one in London; their conversation concerns where they are calling from and whether they have had lunch yet.

    A man shows us a contraption which scrambles the voices going over the telephone wires to ensure privacy for callers. Some male engineers sitting at consul boards call various cities and test for clarity of speech. A female operator places a call from Britain to Cape Town; we hear the brief conversation between two businessmen - it is all quite amazing!

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    hd format:
    HD at Filmfinity
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:26:38:00 / 01:30:39:00
    PT 112

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