Leicester Square Underground station. Three women telephonists are seen working the switchboard at the telephone exchange.
Photographed by Underground Group Photo Dept, circa 1920
Location: Leicester Square Underground station, Westminster WC2
Image no: MS3401
Inventory no: 1998/48393
20th Century London caption: This photo was taken at Leicester Square in the 1920s and shows a large telephone switchboard. London Transport was one of the first companies to make widespread use of an internal automatic phone system. The station at Leicester Square had been opened in 1906 with offices above it known as Cranbourne Chambers. These were used by various train companies including the Great Northern Piccadilly & Brompton Railway. By the 1920s, these companies were part of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, the forerunner of London Transport. Although women had been employed in all areas of London Transport during the First World War, once men returned the women were largely confined to office positions.