Florida's First Telephone Exchange

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24 May 1880

1880 – Florida’s first telephone exchange opened on this date in Jacksonville. Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company opened with 34 subscribers. Popularity for the new device slowly grew and by 1897 the first long distance line from Jacksonville to Georgia was established at a rate of 85 cents for three minutes. Soon Southern Bell bought out most of the small regional lines in Florida and by 1955 they had established over 1 million lines statewide.


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