Early Telephone Fun Facts

(Last Updated On: February 2, 2018)
Alexander Graham Bell has gone down in history for creating one of the most useful and innovative technologies of his time; the telephone. Today, over a hundred years later, we still use his invention, and have seen its many changes and improvements. While it’s hard to imagine life before telephones, it’s equally as interesting to learn about the telephone in its beginning years. The following are some fun facts about the telephone and its early history.
  • Alexander Graham Bell experimented with his “harmonic telegraph” for two years before getting patented by the U.S. Patent Office. On March 10, 1876 he was able to get his phone to work.
  • The first words spoken through a telephone were “Watson come here, I want you!” The phone call was made by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson.
  • Heinz Ketchup was also invented in the year 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell made his first phone call.
  • Mark Twain was one of the first people to have a phone in his home.
  • Telephones grew quickly, from one phone in 1876 to 11 million phones nationwide by 1915, only in US.
  • New York Telephone had 6,000 women telephone operators by 1910.
  • The phrase “to put someone on hold” was named after Alexander and his assistant Mr. Watson, when Bell handed Watson the phone and said “here, hold this.”
  • When Alexander Graham Bell died in 1922, all telephones stopped from ringing for one full minute as a tribute to the creator.
  • The first transatlantic telephone cable was used in 1956. A telephone cable was run across the ocean floor and lies as deep as 12,000 feet. The cable runs across the Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Scotland.
  • There are roughly 150 million telephone lines in the world, a number that increases by thousands daily.
The phone continues to evolve today. Now we have much more advanced features, like Caller ID, texting, mobile video, Safe Caller ID, internet, and many more features. Phones connect people speaking the same language, connect people needing interpreting services, facilitate business, and even save lives; I think it’s safe to say that Alexander Graham Bell would definitely be proud of all that his invention has given us.

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