History of the telephone

  • Alexander Graham Bell's first telephone

    Alexander Graham Bell's first telephone
    Patented on March 7th, on March 10, 1876, Bell first successfully transmits speech, saying "Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!" using a liquid transmitter as described in Gray's caveat, and Bell's own electromagnetic receiver.
  • Period: to

    History of the telephone

    From the first telephone to the most recent cell phone-- see the evolution!
  • telephone switchboard exchange

    telephone switchboard exchange
    Hungarian Tivadar Puskas invents the telephone switchboard exchange (later working with Edison).
  • Carbon Microphone

    Carbon Microphone
    Edison tests his first carbon microphone
  • Photophone

    Also called a radiophone, is invented jointly by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter at Bell's Volta Laboratory. The device allowed for the transmission of sound on a beam of light.
  • Automatic Circuit Changer

    Automatic Circuit Changer
    Gilliland's Automatic circuit changer is put into service between Worcester and Leicester featuring the first operator dialing allowing one operator to run two exchanges.
  • Multiplex switchboard

    Multiplex switchboard
    Tivadar Puskás introduced the multiplex switchboard, it had an big impact in the further development of telephone exchange.
  • Strowger

    Almon Strowger patents the Strowger switch the first Automatic telephone exchange
  • Rotary Dial Telephone

    Rotary Dial Telephone
    The first rotary dial telephones in the Bell System installed in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Videophone

    World's first videophone call via an electro-mechanical AT&T unit, from Washington, D.C. to New York City, by then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover.
  • Mobile Phone

    Mobile Phone
    First commercial mobile phone call
  • Western Electric Type 500

    Western Electric Type 500
    The Western Electric Type 500 telephone becomes available in the United States after announcement in 1949
  • Modems

    Modems used for direct connection via voice phone lines
  • Touch-Tone

    Initiation of Touch-Tone service trials
  • DynaTAC prototype hand-held cell phone

    DynaTAC prototype hand-held cell phone
    Motorola employee Martin Cooper placed the first hand-held cell phone call to Joel Engel, head of research at AT&T's Bell Labs, while talking on the first Motorola DynaTAC prototype.
  • Touch-tone phone

    Touch-tone phone
    If you were a teenager in the 1980s, this touch-tone was your best friend
  • Motorola MicroTAC 9800X

    Motorola MicroTAC 9800X
    The first truly portable phone. Up until its release, most cellular phones were installed as car phones due to the inability to fit them into a jacket pocket.
  • Cordless phone

    Cordless phone
    A typical cordless phone in the 1990's.
  • Motorola International 3200

    Motorola International 3200
    The first digital hand-size mobile telephone.
  • Motorola StarTAC

    Motorola StarTAC
    The first clamshell ("flip-phone") cellular phone. Also one of the first display screens featured on a cell.
  • Nokia 6160

    Nokia 6160
    Nokia popped up on the scene in 1998 with the first-ever candybar phone, the Nokia 6160. Weighing only 6 ounces, the 5.2-inch tall device sported a monochrome display, an external antenna and a rechargeable battery with a whopping 3.3-hour talk time. Because of its price and ease of use, the Nokia 6160 ended up becoming Nokia's best-selling device of the 90s.
  • Nokia 8210

    Nokia 8210
    This phone was loved for its customizable design, but hated for its screen fade. Available in three colors.
  • Pre-Blackberry Smartphone

    Pre-Blackberry Smartphone
    The first BlackBerry cellular device appeared in the late 90s as a two-way pager. It featured a full QWERTY keyboard and could be used to transmit SMS/email messages and pages. Plus, it offered an 8-line display, a calendar and an organizer. Due to a lack of interest in mobile email devices at the time, however, the device was used primarily by those individuals who worked in the corporate industry.
  • Ericsson T36

     Ericsson T36
    The Ericsson T36 introduced Bluetooth technology to the cellular world, thus allowing consumers to wirelessly connect their phones to their computers. The phone also offered worldwide connectivity via 900/1800/1900-band GSM, voice recognition technology and Aircalendar, a tool that allowed consumers to receive real-time updates to their calendar or contacts folder.
  • BlackBerry 5810

     BlackBerry 5810
    Tired of making PDAs, Research in Motion (RIM) finally took the plunge in 2002 with the release of the BlackBerry 5810. It was the first BlackBerry PDA to feature cellular connectivity. Operating along a GSM network, the BlackBerry 5810 allowed users to send e-mails, organize their data and prepare memos. Unfortunately, it lacks a speaker and a microphone, meaning a headset was required to use it.
  • Sanyo SCP-5300

    Sanyo SCP-5300
    The Sanyo SCP-5300 was the first cellular device to feature an integrated camera. Unfortunately, it was limited to a 640x480 resolution, 4x digital zoom and 3-foot range. Regardless, users of the phone could snap photos on the go and then later upload them to their PC using a bundled software suite.
  • Nokia 1100

    Nokia 1100
    This extremely popular design sold over 200 million since its introduction in 2003. This phone is rumored to have sold for up to $32,000 in online criminal communities due to its ability to intercept one-time banking passwords.
  • Motorola Razr v3

    Motorola Razr v3
    Prior to the release of the Motorola Razr v3, phones tended to be big and bulky. The Razr changed this with its its thin, 14mm-thick frame of aircraft-grade aluminum. Other highlights included an internal antenna, a chemically-etched keypad and blue backlighting. It was, in essence, the first phone built to not only provide great functionality, but to also exude style and elegance.
  • Apple iPhone

    Apple iPhone
    When Apple entered the cellular industry in 2007, everything changed. Apple replaced the keyboard and keypad with a multi-touch touchscreen display that allowed customers to feel as if they were physically manipulating data with their fingers: clicking links, stretching/shrinking photos and flipping through albums. Plus, it brought the first ever fully-featured platform to cell phones. It was as if they took a computer operating system and squished it into a tiny phone.
  • Cordless phone

    Cordless phone
    2016 current cordless phone
  • The latest rumor....

    The latest rumor.... iPhone rumor that iPhone7 will be able to turn into a tablet at the touch of a button.