The Telephone: Best Gossip Tool of the 19th Century!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

With the return of NBC’s series Revolution just around the corner I started thinking, “what would I do without technology?”  This led to the question of which item I’d miss the most: my cell phone.  What did we do before cell phones?  Actually, what did we do before phones in general?  And that thought process is how my mind came up with the topic for today, the invention of the telephone!

97b/03/vict/0371/50Alexander Graham Bell is a name that many of you already know as inventor of the telephone.  It turns out that around the same time in the 1870s a second inventor, Elisha Gray, was also working on his own version of the telephone.  It’s a fairly popular story that the two of them rushed to the patent office within hours of each other, but Bell made it first and won the claim of inventor of the telephone.

As it turns out though, Bell didn’t originally plan on inventing this machine.  His original intent was to create a means to improve the telegraph, the established form of long distance communication at the time.  The telegraph was only able to send one message at a time, so with the help of Thomas Watson and the funding of Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Bell believed that he could send multiple messages across the same wire if they were notes of different pitch.

BellTelephone1876Bell and Watson discovered that they could send sounds through the wire in 1875 when Bell heard the sound of a clock spring “twang” while working on his “harmonic telegraph.”  Within a year’s time, on March 10 1876, Bell spoke the first words to be sent via telephone “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.”  Within the next twenty years telephones were everywhere.  The original Bell Telephone Company started in 1877 is the ancestor of what we now know as AT&T.  So all you AT&T users can claim bragging rights that your cell phone’s great, great, great grandphone was the first phone ever.  Alright so it’s a little more complicated than that, but if I followed the rabbit hole of company growth and take-overs all the way down to Bell’s original company, I’d probably be begging for a Revolution-style blackout to come so I wouldn’t have to keep typing for days about each step.

photo-2Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades


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