It’s nearing Christmas,1890. Recently widowed Almon Strowger purchases a mortuary, which is under the care of a witty spinster, Susan Simmons. A sudden decline in his undertaking business leads Almon to discover that calls are being directed to his rival. How? His rival’s wife is the town telephone operator. With the help of Almon’s nephew (Walter), a conniving accountant (Joseph Harris) and his eccentric wife (Macey Harris), Almon invents the Automatic Telephone Exchange, the device that makes telephone operators obsolete. However, Almon’s addiction to Blue Mass, his obsession with his wife’s death, and the mysterious disappearance of several of his other inventions, challenges the Telephone Exchange’s success.