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The History of Telephones 

The telephone is considered to have been invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 because this is when he received his patent for this new machine. A patent is given to someone who invents something new so that other people do not copy it without permission. Many other people helped in the invention of the telephone too, sharing their knowledge and ideas and helping with the designs that allowed Bell to create his own working version.  When Bell submitted his invention for patent he only just beat other inventors to it!  We should thank Antonio Meucci, Philip Reis, and Elisha Gray for the part they played in making the telephone possible. 

For over 130 years, this wonderful Bell invention has been part of life for many people and today the mobile phone is just the latest streamlined descendant of Bell’s famous and successful experiments. The first telephone communication was when Bell spoke to his assistant Thomas Watson by wire on the 10th of March in 1876.

These are some of the important dates in telephone history:

1831- Michael Faraday was able to show that the vibrations on metal objects could be transformed to electrical signals.

1861- Johann Philip Reis was the first known inventor who constructed a machine that could change sounds to electrical signals and then back to sound once again.

1871- Meucci, an Italian inventor gave notice that he was planning to apply for a patent for a special communication device.

1874- Bell had the idea for a telephone while working on telegraph machines

1876- Bell is granted a patent for his telephone

1876- Elisha Gray also filed a patent notice on the same day as Bell but the patent was awarded to Mr. Bell.

1877- The Bell Telephone Company was created and the first telephone exchange was developed in Connecticut.

1879- The first telephone exchange was constructed in London, England

1880- The first Photophone was created to communicate spoken words by using light rays. It was not practical at the time, had few supporters, and was quickly abandoned.

1885- ATT & T was formed for long distance communication; this was more commonly known then as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

1888- William Gray created the first pay telephone, which people would use by putting coins into slots.

1921- Police departments began to test one-way communication systems in cars.

1933- 2 way communication devices were used in patrol cars in Bayonne, NJ.

1946- This was when the first mobile telephone call was made from a car.

1947- The person who thought of cellular telephone service had the idea during this year but the technology did not yet exist. The name of this genius was Dr. Ring.

1962- Push button, or touch-tone telephones were first seen and sold.

1970- The first commercially developed Picture phones were shown.

1973- This was the year of the first cell phone call from a Motorola employee to an ATT&T employee.

1979- Japan was the site of the first network for mobile phones.

1983- The first commercial mobile telephone system was opened.

Today we use tiny telephones almost the size of a credit card to communicate instantly with people in countries around the globe. The communications industry is constantly updating, refining, and streamlining products and there are sure to be even smaller and faster communications available in the future.


This is an original news article © The Kids Window



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