Geef een of meerdere zoektermen op.
Gebruik dubbele aanhalingstekens om in de exacte woordvolgorde te zoeken.

The miss from the telephone

De juffrouw van de telefoon

Dr. G. Hogesteeger en drs. R.A. Korving

Waanders, 1993

Telephoning was not possible until the 1950s without the intervention of the switchboard, and the job of telephonist was, indeed, a lady’s trade. ‘A very nerve-racking job’, according to a career choice booklet from the early twentieth century, but not really difficult, and – unlike most administrative professions – free of financial responsibility. So really something for women, who, moreover, did not have to worry about the lack of prospects of promotion opportunities. After all, those who married had to leave; the civil service had no room for married women. In some telephone districts, as soon as they had a boyfriend, women were no longer even allowed to take the first-class telephonist course.


On the other hand, they were reasonably well paid and had a pension attached. ‘In the late 1920s, one of the interviewees in Friesland could earn 20 guilders a month as a qualified teacher, while she received more than four times as much as that as a telephone operator: almost 88 guilders!’


The richly illustrated volume The Miss on the Telephone, to accompany an exhibition of the same name at the Dutch PTT Museum in The Hague (until 13 March 1994). The account is preceded by a scholarly treatise on the credibility of oral history, after which the ex-telephone operators interviewed are given the space to supplement the paper history with recollections from practice.