History of the Telephone

Man has always used some form of communication over the years but the telephone is one of the greatest technological inventions which made communication so easy. Before the telephone the telegraph was a very popular method of communication used by people but the invention of the telephone virtually displaced the telegraph as a means of communication.

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you" were the words of the first telephone call. The call was made by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant Thomas Watson. The word telephone originated from the Greek words Tele for afar and Phone for voice. Bell invented the telephone, Watson designed it. He filed his application for a patent just hours before his competitor Elisha Gray.

Most of Bells life revolved around speech and sound, his mother played music, his father introduced speech system for the deaf and Bell himself was a vocal physiology professor. Bell started work on harmonic telegraph which he hoped would be able to send several messages over a single wire. Testing the harmonic telegraph he heard sounds over a wire of different pitches. Bell in fact wanted to work on a device which could transmit speech electrically. Further work on the instrument saw the birth of the telephone in March 1876; the first telephone was made of a wooden stand, funnel, a cup of acid and a copper wire.

He formed the Bell telephone company which grew rapidly in 1877 and promoted his telephone. The first telephone line was constructed in Boston with the first switchboard being started in Boston in the same year of 1877. Telephone service between International destinations did not start until 1915. The design of the telephone has also developed over the years starting with the basic rotary dialing to the more hi tech features like caller id, call waiting, phone answering service, and teleconferencing to name a few.

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