Emma Nutt Day

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

Her being hired as a telephone operator marked a shift in the telephone industry from using primarily using men as telephone operators to using 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 to hire 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 that this was inappropriate for live phone contact with customers, so they decided to hire women, telephone operators.

On September 1, 1878, Emma M. Nutt would become the first telephone operator hired by Alexander Graham Bell and she would earn a salary of $10 per month for a 54-hour workweek. Her sister would become the second female telephone operator but wouldn’t work as long as one as Emma. Emma 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 also should spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #EmmaMNuttDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2023)
September 1 Friday
Next year (2024)
September 1 Sunday
Last year (2022)
September 1 Thursday
Work & Occupation