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The Evolution of Telephone

Updated on June 9, 2019
Charles Emerenwa profile image

Brian is an aspiring writer that seeks to inform and educate the public through informative and educational pieces from various categories.

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The advancement of technology has a tremendous impact on the human race and its benefit is reflected in numerous aspects of our lives. One of the apparent contributions of technology would be in terms of communication.

Back in the early days before the phone was invented, communication was done via the telegraph which works basically as an intermittent electrical circuit. It was the fastest way for long distance communication, but the method has its limitations too.

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It was then Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottish scientist, inventor, engineer, and innovator started out to invent and patent the very first telephone with the help of a fellow engineer, Thomas Watson.

Bell received the patent for his idea on the telephone on 7 March 1876. He tested his new creation and on the monumental date of 10 March 1876, Bell successfully spoke through the phone to his assistant, Watson.

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After that, word about Bell’s invention got out and he did a demonstration of the device to the British government in 1877. In the subsequent year, Bell made an audience with the Queen of Victoria to show Her Highness his invention.

The meeting which took place at Osborne House went very well and the Queen was impressed with the sophistication of the device. Her Highness then expressed interest to acquire the two telephone units that were at that time still at the Osborne House.

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After 15 years since the first phone call by Bell to his assistant, a phone link was established between London and Paris, marking the birth of overseas phone calls. The long distance call was made possible by building an underground sub-sea cable through the English Channel, linking England and France.

As it is in its early stage of development, the method does come with a shortcoming. The calls had to be made from special booths in London and the capacity was limited at only two calls simultaneously.

Fast forward to the year 1912, phone calls took on another leap of advancement – Britain’s first ever automatic exchange opened. This means phone calls can be made directly to the receiver without the need to go through an operator.

This was not the case during the early stages of the telephone’s invention. Back then, it took quite some effort before a call was connected as the calls had to go through telephone operators that will then direct the call to its rightful recipient.

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In the early stages of its existence, the phone was seen as a tool of convenience. However, a new discovery and modification were integrated into the device, making it a great use during times of emergency.

It was on 30 June 1937, that the world’s oldest emergency service – 999 was born in London. It was not until 1976 when all the telephone exchanges were automated that the entire country had access to this emergency function on their device.

Until 1983, the telephone was still a bulky device that was connected by wires and cables. With the advancement of technology and the need for the device to necessitate the development of society, ways were figured out on how to make the device portable.

This led to the birth of the first ever commercial hand-held phone - Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. It was bulky in terms of its appearance, unlike the sleek and slim design we have nowadays. The mobile device requires ten hours to be completely charged and allows 30 minutes of talk time before the next charge.

The mobile device took the world by storm with its sophistication and signaled the revolution of technology, which made the invention possible.

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During the early stages of the introduction of the mobile phone, owning one was a status symbol and a privilege. It was a revolutionary piece of technology that one unit of the device costs over $2,900.

Nowadays, it is the complete opposite – the smaller the model, the higher the price and the better the operating system of the device. In addition to making calls, the phone these days are so advanced that it can perform multiple functions that will amaze even Alexander Graham Bell, the man that made all this possible with his first invention of the telephone.

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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      This is a fascinating history of technology that we have come to rely on.

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