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The Invention and History of the Telephone

Updated on September 7, 2015

The Telephone is One of the Greatest Inventions

The telephone is one of the greatest inventions of all the inventions, and has changed the way the world communicated ever since. The telephone is widely known to have been invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Bell was searching to find a way to transmit sound through a device that would become the telephone. He had an assistant (Thomas A. Watson), who helped him. They worked together at night, to invent a device that would change the way the world communicated. Mr. Bell, and his assistant had to work on their telephone at night, because they had to do their regular duties during the daytime.

The word "telephone" comes from Greek: "Tele" meaning afar, and "phone" meaning voice. Bell invented the telephone, before the age of thirty. The invention of the telephone meant a whole, new and exciting way for the world to communicate, that hadn't existed before. Only the telegraph existed before the new invention.

The telephone is a useful invention, and has served its purpose, well. It has helped saved lives that otherwise would have been lost, because, then people were able to call for help, such as in cases of emergencies. People can call 911 for help. The telephone can be used for visiting with friends, or relatives, who live close by, or far away and anywhere in the world. The telephone is one of the most useful devices ever invented by man.

A Little Baby Using an Early Telephone

A Little Baby Using an Early Telephone
A Little Baby Using an Early Telephone | Source

Alexander Graham Bell and His Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell and His Telephone
Alexander Graham Bell and His Telephone | Source

Mr. Bell Was Well Educated

Alexander Graham Bell was well educated.. He was family educated and self taught. He was a teacher, scientist, and an inventor. He studied and did many experiments on sound. The device that he created was able to transmit sound electrically. The device finally worked-- he was able to communicate with his assistant, Mr. Watson, who was in the next room, and said the most famous words that told Mr. Watson to come here, and that he (Bell) wanted to see him. Mr. Watson clearly heard Mr. Bell through the other end of the device, that he held in an adjoining room. The device (the telephone) worked.

Patent Granted on March 7, 1876

Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for his invention on March 7, 1876. His device could transmit speech electrically.

Alexander Graham Bell had a rival inventor named: Elisha Gray, who also was working on a device that could transmit speech electrically. They worked independently of each other. There was a race to get to the patent office first, between Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray. Alexander Graham Bell got there first, just a few hours ahead of Elisha Gray. Many lawsuit were to follow. Mr. Bell's telephone was patented first. There were famous legal battles over who invented the telephone, which Bell won.

Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone

An Early Telephone

A Man Using an Early Telephone
A Man Using an Early Telephone | Source

Liquid Transmitter Used by Bell

When Alexander Graham Bell was inventing his telephone, he used a liquid transmitter that was similar to the one that Elisha Gray had designed, to get his telephone to work. Mr. Bell used a liquid transmitter, an idea he had not experimented with before, or had placed in his patent. Mr. Gray had patented the liquid transmitter that he designed, as it had been his idea. It was the cause of many lawsuits to come.

How a Telephone Works

Before the Invention of the Telephone

Before the invention of the telephone, people relied on the telegraph to send messages. Messages could only be sent one way, one at a time, and used Morse code. The telegraph had been around for some 30 years, at the time the telephone was invented.

In conclusion, the invention of the telephone was one of the greatest inventions that the world has ever seen. The telephone made communication easier and quicker, than ever before its invention. It revolutionised how the world communicates. Telephones are everywhere. Almost everyone has a telephone in their home. Telephones are great communication devices that most people would not want to live without.

Evolution of Telephones

The Telephone

Image of a telephone
Image of a telephone | Source

About Alexander G. Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847. He died August 2, 1922. For two generations, his family had been known as leading authorities in elocution and speech correction. When he was eleven years old, the middle name: Graham was added. He had two brothers, who both died of tuberculosis. Alexander Graham Bell was the 2nd of three sons of Alexander Melville and Eliza Grace Symonds Bell. Bell was a teacher, who taught deaf children music and elocution. Bell's parents feared for his health, since the death of his two brothers, so they decided to move to Canada where the climate was colder. Alexander Graham Bell's health improved after the family moved to Canada.

Alexander Graham Bell married Mabel Hubbard, one of his pupils that he tutored. They were married in 1877. She was ten years younger than him. They had four children together, Elsie May Bell, Marian Hubbard Bell, and two sons that died in infancy. Alexander Graham Bell was good friends with Helen Keller, who he tutored privately. Keller was one of his most famous pupils.

Strange Ghostly Stories About Telephones

There are strange ghostly stories about the telephone, as well, as their normal usage. Some os these ghostly stories deal with the dead communicating with the living through the use of telephones.The stories can be easily found on the Internet, some of the stories tell how a dead father, other deceased family members called living family members and spoke to them through the use of the telephone. Could the dead really be contacting the living through the use of the telephone? It could be possible that the dead are able to make contact with the living using the device. It would seem rather spooky, of course--but is everything possible? The dead person calling could be a deceased grandfather or even a father, who has passed away trying to contact their grandson or a deceased father trying to contact his son or daughter. A grandmother or a mother, who is deceased, could try to contact their living family. The use of the telephone by evil forces from the "Great Beyond", would be a frightening aspect, and, hopefully, would never be possible, but you never know...?

Fun Facts about the Telephone

  • Alexander Graham Bell thought that telephone calls should be answered with, "Hoy, Hoy", instead of "Hello."
  • Mark Twain was one of the first to have a telephone in his home.
  • When Alexander Graham Bell passed away in 1922 all telephones stopped ringing for a full minute to honor his passing.
  • Early telephones that were taken out of service were dumped in holes, and in various places to get rid of them. Early telephones are hard to find and are scarce, because of the phones being dumped.
  • Some of the early service trucks-line trucks still exist sitting in places like old barns or junk yards.


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