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Automatic Electric was founded in 1891 as Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange Company by Kansas City resident Almon Strowger, who invented the first automatic (dial) telephone switch in 1889, and a businessman named Joseph Harris.
In 1901 the name was changed to Automatic Electric.By 1904, desk stands and wall sets alike featured an eleventh hole, some of which were identified as “Long Distance.” Unbeknownst to customers, dialing “Long Distance” or zero did the same thing.In a concession to branding, switch hooks ended in an “A” beginning in 1905.The ringer on these is a funny sounding tweeting sound that comes from the speaker.There is a hole in the bottom of the extension speaker for adjusting the ringer volume using a screwdriver.