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The Telephone and New Office Technology

How new technology like the telephone changed office life. Lucy Kellaway's origins of corporate culture. From July 2013.

Writer and satirist Lucy Kellaway traces the origins of today's corporate culture.

Part 5 of 10: The Telephone And New Office Technology

New technology including the telephone, telegraph, typewriters, adding machines, and even filing cabinets revolutionised office work in the late 19th century. In particular the telephone was looked on suspiciously in the UK. Britain's chief post office engineer, Sir William Preece, told a House of Commons committee : 'I have one in my office, but more for show. If I want to send a message, I employ a boy to take it.'. Lucy visits the stores of the museum of London to see early examples of office technology, including an early private telephone belonging to the Rothschilds.

Readings by Richard Katz, Sasha Pick, Adam Rojko and Kerry Shale
Historical Consultant: Michael Heller

Producer: Russell Finch
A Somethin' Else production for Radio 4.

15 minutes


  • Fri 26 Jul 2013 13:45
  • Tue 22 Sep 2015 14:15
  • Wed 23 Sep 2015 02:15
  • Fri 8 Feb 2019 14:15
  • Sat 9 Feb 2019 02:15