By 1929, Daley and the now-18 operators who reported to her were working out of the fifth floor of the Cannon Office Building, handling around 30,000 calls a day over 100 main lines and 1,000 stations. A year later, the introduction of the dial telephone provoked an uproar among senators. (“Could not be more awkward than it is,” grumbled one, Clarence Dill, Democrat of Washington State.) They passed a resolution opposing it and got phones that allowed for the option of warmer, more interactive “manual” service, with a woman’s hands connecting the calls.
Ms. Bligh decided to name cheeses after Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Cheddary, enrobed in black) and Josephine Baker (Sardo-style, with a natural rind and slightly sweet). “We’ve got a Misty Copeland, we’ve got a Marie Curie,” she said. “We’re just releasing our Jane Goodall, and we had an Amelia Earhart — two wheels of it and it sold out in a second, because everyone’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s my girl.’