Mary Moore (voice actor)

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A human speaking clock prior to the invention of automated equipment. 1937TimeVoice.jpg
A human speaking clock prior to the invention of automated equipment.

In the United States of America, Mary Moore was the first national voice of the Bell System's standardized speaking clock [1] and also provided the voice behind many telephone company recordings on equipment manufactured by Audichron.

Moore's voice was often recognized for the distinctive two-syllable pronunciations of 9 ("NY-un") and 5 ("FY-vuh"). [2] This was a requirement of telephone operators at the time, because "nine" and "five" can sound very similar on a poor-quality line.

Prior to Moore's recordings and Audichron equipment, an operator stationed in a booth would await the glow of a signal lamp, indicating that a subscriber had dialed the service; she (or, sometimes, he) would then announce the time at 10-second intervals until the lamp was extinguished. Callers reaching a disconnected number would be informed by the operator personally. Moore had one of these reading jobs herself before she was formally recorded.

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  1. David Lazarus. “Time of day calling it quits at AT&T” . Los Angeles Times , 29 August 2007.
  2. Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine : Vintage telephone network sounds part 1. YouTube .
Preceded by
Post created
Voice of AT&T
c. 1934 - January 1, 1963
Succeeded by