Alexandra Jacobs / The New York Times
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.