In 1913, the first automatic telephone exchange was put into service in Nice, and telephones would later experience a new evolution with the introduction of the rotary dial.
1924 saw the launch of a telephone that would mark its era: the “1924”. With the model’s central battery, supplying power to the telephone line was no longer done by the subscriber but by the automatic telephone exchange.
In the big cities, automatic telephone exchanges were installed. If you look closely at the telephone dial you will see not only numbers but also letters. These letters were used in Paris to identify the telephone exchange through which the call went out.
In the next display case, below you can see a small telephone board, the Grammont 1920, which would evolve with the arrival of automatic exchanges and later be equipped with a dial after 1924.
Automation also began to cut jobs, marking the beginning of the disappearance of the telephone operators: the “demoiselles du téléphone”.
In the Aude department:
On 22 February 1936, the General Council voted for a grant for the installation of automatic telephones in the rural zones of the department. These telephones were put into service throughout six different telephone exchanges between 1936 and 1939.
In this display case you will find, on the top left, a 1924 wall telephone without a dialler and, on the right, a telephone used by Marcel Cerdan (the world boxing champion), the 1924 wall telephone—with a rotary dial this time.