Seen at /r/HistoryPorn, additional information from Retronaut.
“228 So. Spring St.. The first telephone line between San Francisco and Los Angeles had just been opened, and long distance calls to the Bay City were being stimulated. The young man, Roy E. Jillson, was messenger boy then and was still an employee of the telephone company in 1934.”
Depending on which inflation calculator you use, 50¢ turns out to be hideously expensive for 1899. $13.78 per minute… that would basically mean you didn’t want to call San Francisco unless it were a matter of life or death.
For the curious, here’s what the area looks like right now:
It’s a neighbor to the LA Times building.
The Old Wolf has spoken.