Telephones came into existence in the late 19th Century. Along with the innovation came the establishment of new businesses, each focused on providing this new communication capability to the marketplace. And along with those emergent organizations came hundreds of thousands of new jobs for switchboard operators who would connect incoming calls to a final destination. The overwhelming rise in market saturation of telephones and resulting call activity outpaced the capacity of human workers to connect the calls well into the 20th Century. Automatic switching equipment emerged as a solution - and ultimately replaced the workforce entirely.