August 18, 1927
The 192 square miles covered by the Los Angeles exchange are crissed and crossed by, interwoven and interlaced with 1.7 million miles of telephone line, servicing those 307,471 telephones upon which you Chatty Cathies of 1927 gab. (And that’s nearly double the 162,122 phones in service a mere five years ago in ’22.) With 1.2 million folk in LA, there’s roughly 25 phones per hundred persons.
The Los Angeles exchange, in number of telephones, is the fifth largest in the United States, preceded by NYC, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia, and is seventh largest in the world. It has thirty-nine central offices and more than 5,000 employees. As more than 12,000 telephones were installed in LA since the first of the year, the Southern California Telephone Company today announced a program that will entail the expenditure of 9.6 million ($105,887,824 USD2006) to handle all this interest in the modern convenience. Little could they envision that someday not only would every individual own multiple telephones, but that the telephone company itself would no longer employ even one single human employee.
(The 25-phones-per-hundred-person statistic above might be off a little, for how does one take into account those ladies who press into service some twenty-odd telephones at a time? Too bad the device was in its infancy when Kraft-Ebbing was pounding out his seminal work.)
(Of course, the nice lady pictured above will be without her precious candlesticks pretty soon. In short order these devices will become the territory of rural law enforcement.)