The phone has been around since 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell made the first call. Obviously, the phone has come a long way since, but how did it get to where it is today?
It may have started with one call, but it has developed into something that can do far more than just allow two people to connect from a distance. Bell didn’t just create a new device. He changed the way we interact and set the precedent for what was to come later.
After Bell’s invention in 1876, the first transcontinental call was placed from New York to San Francisco in 1956. The call transformed our idea of space and time. Here’s a look at how the telephone has evolved over the past century.
A Timeline of the Telephone
From the first call to the first text to video chat and so on, the phone has been an example of a lightning fast developing technology. It started in 1876 and was transformed over the last century into something very special.
- The liquid transmitter was created in 1876 starting it all
- The top box phone was invented in 1879
- The Gower-Bell was the first phone used in Japan, England and Spain in 1880
- The Western Electric Folding Cabinet Phone was introduced in 1982 for homes and telephone booths
- The Chicago Upright Desk Set was introduced in 1905
- Rotary Phones were introduced before the 1920s, but were not perfected until the 1940s
- Touchtone phones came along in the 1960s
- The first video phones were created in the 1960s
- The first cell phone was created in 1973
- The AEG telecar CD was introduced as a mobile car phone in the 1980s
- Cordless phones became very popular in the 1990s
- The first text message was sent in 1992
- The first commercial camera phone was introduced in 2000
- The iPhone was introduced in 2007
- Google introduced the Android Phones in 2008
Today, you can get a watch with a phone feature and you can even get a fitness device that has caller ID. Phones come in many shapes and sizes, have touch screens, send text message, connect to the internet, allow for video chat and so much more.
The next evolution is already in the works with many phones using voice command today. The landline has nearly disappeared from homes and we are all connected 24/7 from a smartphone. Many even use the phone for everything they do, from getting directions to finding the right restaurant for dinner.
The telephone has come a long way since 1876 and it just keeps evolving. Business phones have gone from simple devices to sophisticated multi-line phone systems with hold music, transfer capabilities and so much more.
It’s hard to tell what might be next, but it’s pretty clear the evolution of the phone isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. We may all be talking with a small ear piece and just telling it who to call or what to do very soon.