Telephone

1876

Who? When?

The telephone was worked on by many people, but the first patent for it was obtained by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.


What?


  • The first telephone was displayed by Bell in Philidelphia in June 1876.


  • The new device translated the human voice into electrical form and allowed people to actually speak with eachother without being near eachother.


  • The image to the right shows one of the first commercially available telephones.


Early Pros

  • could be readily used by anyone, unlike the telegraph

  • encouraged natural two-way communication


Early Cons

  • the telegraph was already widely accepted and used

  • there was no permanent record left behind after calls, unlike with the telegraph

  • it could only transmit voices a short distance (a few miles)

  • it was pricy


Early Telephone Companies

  • Bell Telephone Company- first telephone service company, developed an early near-monopoly on supplying telephone equipment and services to local franchises, improved on and developed a lot of telephone equipment


  • Independent Companies- formed in smaller communites after Bell's patents expired in 1893, they could use Bell's devices (telephones) without having to pay him any royalties


  • In the beginning, telephone service was not available all over the country, let alone the world. As the use of telephones grew, however, so did the range of service.



Interesting Facts

  • the telephone was created using a trial-and-error approach, as Bell lacked formal technical training

  • the first transmission of voice over telephone occurred in Boston in March 1876


  • the telephone patent is often called the most valuable patent ever issued


Impact on Industrial Growth

The telephone allowed people to actually speak with eachother without being near eachother. As the global telephone network grew, people all over the world began to speak with others located in vastly different places than themselves. Communication became easier and faster than ever, and business and government took full advantage of the new device, allowing for considerable industrial growth.

Telephones Through the Years

Telephones have become smaller, more lightweight, and portable. They can also do much more than make calls, such as send text messages and run special applications.

Bibliography

  • Mills, Mara. "telephone." Encyclopedia of American Environmental History. New York: Facts On File, 2010. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.


  • Sterling, Christopher H. "communication in the 19th Century." American Centuries: The Ideas, Issues, and Values That Shaped U.S. History. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2011. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.


Image Attributions