In the early twentieth century, domestic telephone connection was a rapidly developing sector of the economy, though not without the participation of foreign capital. A particularly significant event was the spread of the international connection over a vast territory of Russia. Its development in our country began in the 1880s.
Interesting fact: The first long-distance telephone conversation in our country took place in 1879 between St. Petersburg and Malaya Vishera and the first long distance line was located between St. Petersburg and the residences of the tsar in Gatchina (1882), Peterhof (1883) and Tsarskoye Selo (1885).
In 1885, Moscow industrialists sponsored a single-ended steel construction of telephone lines between Moscow and Bogorodskoe, Pushkin, Khimki, Odintsovo, Kolomna, Podolsk and Serpukhov. Such a connection was called 'country'. But only after the improvement of simultaneous telegraphy and telephony methods, thanks to the inventions of the telegraph specialist G.G. Ignatiev and engineer E.I. Gvozdev. Only then did effective long-distance communication become operative.
In 1898, under the direction of A. Nowickiy, a telephone trunk from Petersburg to Moscow was built, then the longest in Europe.
By 1910, there were 155,000 subscribers. Phone numbers at that time consisted of four digits. In large cities - five digits. To make a long distance call, the subscriber would call the telephone operator and the city number. The conversation was then 'ordered' and the caller waited to be connected. Phones at that time didn't have a number dialer. The first paragraph of the rules of the telephone used in the 'List of subscribers of the Moscow Telephone Network' instructed: 'The central station is called simply by removing a microtelephone from its lever'. The station on duty should respond by telling you its number. Then the caller loudly and clearly reports the number, with which they require connection. Phones were recorded using hyphens or spaces separating pairs of digits from right to left. The remaining three digits at the beginning could be recorded together.
By 1913, the country had 87 long-distance telephone lines: the connection over double wire copper was established between Moscow and Kharkov, Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Kostroma, between St. Petersburg and Revel, Helsingfors and between Baku and Tiflis.