Each Monday, sit back, relax, and ease into the work week with puzzles created from images in our collections that have been designated as open access. Anyone can now download, transform, share, and reuse these images as part of Smithsonian Open Access, launched in 2020.
In 1878, the Smithsonian became an early adopter of the telephone when it installed a new system of electronic bells and phones in the Smithsonian Castle. And when the United States National Museum, now known as the Arts and Industries Building, opened three years later, the space was wired for electricity and contained telephone and telegraph lines.
Two women operated the central switchboard. By 1896, staff was fielding approximately 78 calls per day, 2,370 per month and 28,446 for the year. Read “The Smithsonian Goes Telephonic in 1878!” on our blog.