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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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C & P: 1925

C & P: 1925

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Phone Exchanges

Washington did have LIncoln, DIstrict and NAtional as three of many telephone exchanges. Not sure about the others. I worked for C&P in the early 1970s when they were encouraging the use of telephone numbers without letters being assigned to the first two digits.

I am the boss, part II

Note that the men (bosses) have arm chairs while the women (worker bees) have chairs without arms.

Also there is a bank of electrical switches on column #4 while the overhead lights have pull cords on them??

Very interesting picture.. whatever they are doing is broken down by exchange/central office.

Another Angle Please

Wish we could see more of gal in the pleated skirt front and center.

Endless Stare

I wonder which woman the man on the far right is staring at? I love the human stories these photographs capture.

The Boss

The men are sitting around the edge because they are the bosses. That was the culture of the time.

You're Surrounded, Girls

Odd to me, all the men are on the perimeter.

Christmas party Pics

I'd sure like to see a photo of this mob at their Christmas party. Wonder if it would be as dramatic as the Western Electric bunch?


I'm curious about the signs on the pillars in the C & P office...Could those names on each sign be the prefixes
of the telephone exchanges? Atlantic...Lincoln... District...Franklin...Main...Metropolitan...National...
Sounds like they could be...

I'm old enough to remember the days before area codes and direct dial and when you called long distance, you placed the call through an operator. Your telephone number began with two letters and then the rest were numbers. In the city I grew up in, our telephone number began EL (short for Elgin). Some of the other exchanges in town that I recall were DI (for Dickenson), UT (for Utica) and WA (for Walnut).

Nice trip, see you next fall.

Nothing like having large pieces of Conduit laying across the walkways.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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