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The Evolution of the Telephone

Back in the 1800's, the first telephone was created by Alexander Graham Bell (although not without it's controversy. A number different inventors all played a part. However on the most part, people wonder if Bell or Grey really did invent it first).

Since then telephone has come a long way and now we can now call anywhere in the world with a phone in seconds. Something which was completely unimaginable just a couple of 100s years ago.

Looking over the past few decades so many differences in how phones are not only looking but used. These days almost everyone has a mobile phone in their pockets, while landlines are becoming less used.

Man Holding a Mobile Phone

Even kids often have one to keep them connected to peers and family as well as the fast flowing world of social media.

However, let us have a look back on how things have quite quickly changed in the world of the telephone.

While Alexander Graham Bell is credited with creating the first phone in the 1800's, there is actually history of primitive phones dating back to the 1660's.

Most of the primitive phones are best described as mechanical acoustic devices and cover things like the string telephone, made from tin cans (sometimes called the lovers phone).

In 1753 Charles Morrison, a Scientist put forward a theory that you could transmit messages via electricity, by using different wires for each letter.

During the 1800's we started to see the emergence of the electrical telegraphs. While many different types of telegraphs were created at the start of the 1800's.

Black Rottery Telephone

Two Germans created the first electromagnetic telegraph in 1833. However, it wasn't until 1839 at the Great Western Railway in England, the first electric telegraph was first constructed.

It is also worth noting that in 1837, Samual Morse had developed his own electrical telegraph (which was patented within the United States). Along with the use of a coded signalling alphabet to pass messages.

It is interesting to know that when Alexender Graham Bell, first brought out the idea of the telephone, many people argued that it was unneeded. Why would people call each other, when they could use a telegram instead?

That said it took just a year after Bell showed off his invention for the first phone lines to be constructed.

These were placed between Boston and Somerville, Massachusetts and in the years that followed construction boomed across America.

Black Telephone

Things progressed quickly after this.

The late 1890s saw the creation of the candlestick phone, 1915 saw the first transcontinental telephone call and into the 1930s we saw the emergence of answer phones (with most 20th-century answer phones deriving from magnetic recording, which was invented in 1898).

Fast forward to the 1980s and portable phones and mobile phones started to emerge.

From their advancements are all about technology, from the basic mobile phones, which let you call, then later text as well.

To the ones we know today which allow you to play games, video chat, check maps and even those with voice, facial and thumb recognition.

It seems such a short space of time to have changed so much. If you fancy seeing more about the evolution of the telephone then this infographic is for you and don't forget  if you’re interested in getting telephones for your office, check out Soniza a telecoms consultant who can help you with everything you need.

The Evolution of the Telephone

How do you feel about the evolution of the telephone, can you believe that so much has changed in such a little time, what do you think will be the future of phones?

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This article has 19 comments

  1. Alli Smith

    My grandkids are amazed when I tell them that we didn’t have mobile phones when I was growing up. They are also amazed every time they see my dad’s old phone on his kitchen wall.

  2. Melissa Chapman

    Nice trip down memory lane phones are so advanced these days our kids would not believe they used to have cords. I will show this to my kids to learn where phones started.

  3. candy

    I did a post about party lines not long ago and old phones. We certainly have come a long way from the rotary phones that is for sure.

  4. Theresa

    It is fascinating how technology evolves so quickly. My kids can’t believe we had to stay stuck to a cord to talk on the phone when I was their age. I think it will be interesting to see how much more phones progress in our lifetime.

  5. Jeanette

    My kiddo was amazed that I couldn’t take a picture with the phone I had as a kid. That it was wired to the wall and that as a rotary phone if I screwed up on the number I couldn’t just delete it! LOL

  6. Amber Myers

    It’s so crazy how far we’ve come with the telephone. I remember I still had a cord in the wall when I was younger. Cell Phones were starting to come into play, but they were pricey so I never had one in high school.

  7. Gisele

    This is an interesting post. It’s amazing how technology has moved from just voice call to all cell phones do now.

  8. Tonya Wilhelm

    It amazes me how fast technology changes and improves. It wasn’t that long ago that we were wired in.

  9. Ashley

    Interesting post. My kids think it’s funny to see phones with cords LOL

  10. Pam

    I remember when cell phones were first coming out. They were clunky and got terrible service and I couldn’t imagine owning one.

  11. Marysa

    It’s crazy to think of how much things have changed in just the last couple years. When my kids were born we did not have iPhones, and that was just over 10 years ago! Technology has definitely come a long way.

  12. Dennis Littley

    The evolution of the phone is very interesting to see! The can and string method is a far stretch from the smart phone. Love this.

  13. Lisa Martin

    My kids have no idea what a land line is! It’s crazy how things have changed. I kinda miss the days with out cell phones. Everyone is so distracted now.

  14. Emily

    It is crazy to think of how far technology and phones have come! I know just the difference in capabilities with cell phones in 10 years has blown my mind at times.

  15. Ricci

    I remember having a rotary phone growing up and we lived in the country so we still had a party line! LOL! My first phone was only one step up from a bag phone…LOL!! We have come a LONG way!

  16. Nikka Shae

    We’ve come such a long way from the tin cans. I still remember playing on the rotary phone growing up! Then it was the push dial phone! So many fun memories.

  17. Lisa Murano

    Oh wow but how far we’ve come! My first cellphone was actually a car phone as those were the first ones available to the general public. It was actually installed in my truck! What a difference 25 years makes.

  18. Kita Bryant

    What a fun post idea! The telephone has changed and shaped society in unchangeable ways.

  19. Terri Steffes

    I never had my own phone growing up but I always wanted a pink princess phone. Its hard to fathom that nearly everyone carries a phone now!

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