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July 24, 2014

On 24th July 1936 the GPO also launched the 'speaking clock', enabling users to dial 'T.I.M.' and hear a recorded announcement of the exact time. The recordings feature the voice of Jane Cain, the winner of a nationwide competition to find a suitable voice. What did people do before the speaking clock was invented if they wanted a time check? Simple: they rang the operator and asked her the time by the exchange clock on the wall, but this was not precise to the second, nor could the exchange always answer just when the customer wanted. The first genuine speaking clock machine was introduced in the USA in 1927, coming to Paris in 1933, The Hague in 1934 and Switzerland in 1935. Read more

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