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Houston’s Time Service

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1940s

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  •  Houston has over 150,000 telephones 
  •  The operator can give the time to as many as 40 people at once 
 
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“When you want the correct time, just call Capitol 7171!” This 1940s advertisement promotes Houston’s time service, a telephone number that Houstonians could call to hear an operator say the time. Funded by national and local advertising, the operator always begins the message with a product promotion. According to the advertisement, more than 150,000 telephones existed in Houston at the time, with some 75,000 callers using the time service every day.
The digital preservation of this collection was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
 
Many more films from the KHOU-TV Collection are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.