Story: Telecommunications

Women telephonists

Women telephonists

The first female telephonists were appointed in 1881. Although women were paid less than men, the work was sought after – in 1893 there were 484 applications for 79 jobs. Women who had to depend ‘on their own exertions for a living’ were favoured. There was also an element of political patronage involved – applicants with the support of their local member of Parliament were more likely to be successful.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAMF W3327 206 PO540

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How to cite this page:

A. C. Wilson, 'Telecommunications - Telephones, 1877–1914', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 June 2024)

Story by A. C. Wilson, published 11 Mar 2010, updated 1 Apr 2022