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"Sorry, I cannot hear you"

Telephones came to Moscow in 1882. Just a handful of people could afford a phone number: bankers, entrepreneurs paid 250 thousand rubles a year which would be about 0.5 million rubles today. Twenty years later Ericsson company replaced the previous provider - British company Bell - and cost of a year long telephone conversations dropped to 79 rubles. Ericsson built a nine-storied building in Milyutinsky lane, hired several hundred young women as operators. A candidate should be single so that "thoughts and worries would not cause mistakes in work".

Connection quality was still poor: users were often enraged and impatient, but the operators demonstrated exceptional stress immunity - as these sculptures at the former telephone station door show. Address: Molyutinsky Lane, 5. At the moment the building is empty.

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