History of the Telephone - Alexander Graham Bell

The invention of the telephone is perhaps the biggest invention in the history of telecommunication.

This important invention is also clouded in controversy as to whom exactly should be credited with the invention. Alexander Graham Bell has been the most credited inventor, but some claim that he copied the invention from Elisha Gray.

However, whether it was Alexander Graham Bell or Elisha Gray, the fact remains that this invention has rocked the world, allowing voice communication from one person to another. Today people communicate from anywhere, using mobile phones. The world has come a long way since Alexander Bell's Great Invention in the 1870s.


From the Telegraph to the Telephone

Both the telegraph and the the telephone are both wire-based electrical systems and Alexander Graham Bell's success came directly from his efforts to improve the telegraph.

At the time of Bell's experimentation the telegraph had been an established communication method for 30 years. Bell had an excellent knowledge of sound and a great understanding of music, so that he thought of the possibility of transmitting multiple messages over the same wire at the same time.


Telegraph and Telephone

In 1874, Bell recieved financial support from his Father-in-law, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, however Hubbard remained unaware that he and Thomas Watson, a young electrician were also exploring the idea of developing a device that could transmit speech electrically.

With more encouragement from Joseph Henry, the director of the Smithsonian Institution, they continued working and had by June 1875, had proved that it was possible for a device to transmit speech electrically.


The First Twang & the First Words

On June 2nd, 1875, Alexander Graham Bell while experimenting with his technique discovered that he could hear sounds over a wire. The sound was that of a twanging clock spring.

However, it was on March 10, 1876, that the greatest success was made. Not only was this the beginning of the telephone but it was also the death of the telegraph. The first words uttered were by Graham Bell and were "Mr.Watson, come here, I want to see you."


From Then to Now

From those words, things increased rapidly. Later that year, on August 10th, Alexander Graham Bell made the first long distance call, from Brantford to Paris, a distance of six miles.

On the 9th of October, the first two-way long distance call was made between Cambridge and Boston, and in 1878 the First North American telephon exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut.

Well that sums up the Invention and the History of the Telephone. Look around you today, it is rare to find a person that does not own a mobile phone and today people communicate around the globe, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.



More Information

More Information - External

Return back to Wavelink's Information page