The last of yesterday's telephones

Scott earlier talked about simplistic notions of firsts in technology.  When was the first computer invented?  Depends on what you mean by computer!  Anyway, who says the arrival of computers was marked by the invention of any given machine?

I was reminded of this when reading a FastCompany article about "the last vestiges of yesterday's telephone technology."  The article notes efforts by photographer Christopher Payne to document the old copper-wired, circuit-switching phone system still present in the Verizon Building in New York. 

Telephony has largely moved from the old circuit-switching technology to the packet-switching model, and there is a movement to get rid of circuit-switching altogether, although official requirements for backwards compatibility make that challenging. 

Nevertheless, there may come a day when the last of an old technology is switched off or dismantled.  After all, the last VHS VCR has apparently rolled of the assembly line recently.  So, maybe the old technology will soon live on only as a memory, or a simulation in the new setup.

Photograph of Women Working at a Bell System Telephone Switchboard (3660047829)

Photograph of Women Working at a Bell System international Telephone Switchboard/Wikimedia commons

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