Or a Telephone?! April 25th is National Telephone Day and perhaps you’ve wondered “Who invented the telephone?” or “What did people do without an iPhone?”
The answer to the question, “Who invented the telephone?” is Alexander Graham Bell.
On February 14, 1876, Marcellus Bailey, one of Bell’s attorneys rushed into the US Patent office in Boston to file the patent for what would become the first telephone.
Amazingly, there were three men who had invented a telephone device but because Bell’s patent was submitted first, it was awarded to him on March 7, 1876. Three days after the patent was approved, Bell spoke the first words, by telephone, to his assistant, “Mr.Watson, come here! I want to see you!”
One year later, the White House installed its first phone, the first public telephone lines were installed and by 1880, nearly 50,000 phones were operating in the United States!! By May of 1967, the 1 millionth telephone had been installed.
To answer the question, “What did people do without an iPhone?”
The first iPhone, developed by Apple, was sold on
June 27, 2007: 131 years after the first telephone was invented. The telephone your Parents, Grandparents and Great-Grandparents used to communicate with others was very different from the iPhone of today with just two abilities: the ability to make or receive a telephone call. The old telephones did not have a camera, apps, text messages, the internet, a map, videos or social media. They were just telephones.
Today’s phones are a lot of fun to have and keep us up-to-date, but in the old days, not everyone trusted the telephone. Fun Family Fact… My Memere’s Great-Grandmother owned a telephone but never answered it when someone called. She would just let it ring then announce, “That thing is the tool of the Devil-you’ll see!”
Even though there were those who didn’t trust the telephone, we’ve gathered a set of pre-iPhone telephone photos to give you an idea of how different communication was:
Phone Booths in London, England.