The first London telephone exchange was
opened in the City in 1878 with 7 subscribers. This number
quickly increased, making the provision of new exchanges in
Leadenhall Street and Bridge Street vital. The United Telephone
Company, with 8 exchanges, was formed in 1880. In 1889 the
United merged with the National Telephone Company and the
Lancashire & Cheshire Telephonic Exchange Company, but
the Government bought both in 1905.