Emma Nutt Day

National Emma M. Nutt Day is a holiday observed on the 1st of September to commemorate the first female telephone operator in the United States. On September 1, 1878, Emma reported to her first day of work at a telephone dispatch company, and she would remain a telephone operator for over 33 years.

Her hiring as a telephone operator marked a shift in the industry from primarily using men as telephone operators to employing women instead. Her pleasant demeanor opened the door for other women to be hired as phone operators, including her sister Stella and operators Bessie Snow Balance, Carrie Boldt, Minnie Schumann, and Emma Landon.

The History of National Emma M. Nutt Day

The Boston Telephone Dispatch Company began hiring boys as telephone operators in January of 1878, but their demeanor was ill-suited for the job. Many of these boys were terse with people, had a tendency to play pranks, or had a tendency to curse. The company felt this was inappropriate for live phone contact with customers, so they decided to hire women as telephone operators.

On September 1, 1878, Emma M. Nutt became the first telephone operator hired by Alexander Graham Bell, and she earned a salary of $10 per month for a 54-hour workweek. Her sister became the second female telephone operator but did not work as long as Emma, who ended up working for over 33 years.

Observing Emma M. Nutt Day

This is a great day to learn more about Emma M. Nutt and the other female telephone operators who broke into a primarily male-dominated industry. People should also spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #EmmaMNuttDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
September 1 Sunday
Next year (2025)
September 1 Monday
Last year (2023)
September 1 Friday
Work & Occupation