When You Had to Apply for a Long Distance Call

We take it for granted that just dialling a phone number we are able to contact somebody in another country or continent. However, not always it has been like this. Even if you wanted to speak with somebody of your own province, you had to ask for a long distance call. Does anybody remember?

”Hello, Miss, could you please put me through to number 32 of Valdecilla, province of Santander”…  “Ok. It will take about four hours until you get your call. We’ll give you notice”…

Such a conversation was quite usual until the seventies, above all in rural areas. We can easily imagine the telephone operator in front of the switchboard, swiftly managing plugs and cords to connect people here and there, knowing by heart phone numbers, names and even personal details of their customers. Stories from other times!

centralita telefonica standard electrica
Centralita Standard Eléctrica de 1935


At our office you can look at this manual exchange for twenty subscribers, made by Standard Eléctrica around the year 1935. A true museum piece!


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