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Telephone history by Sarasvati

  • Telegraph

    1796: The telegraph device is built. It consisted of 44 cables that allowed to transmit 22 characters. Electrostatic machines generated the signals that were transmitted over a distance of 30 miles (48 km). Initially, the setup was cruel: the signals were received by servants in Aranjuez, Spain, with live wires. The poor servants jumped at every shock caused by someone in Madrid. It was cruel, but it worked. Later, the device was rebuilt to display sparks as signals are sent.
  • Period: to

    History of the telephone

    The phone, like the vast majority of new technologies at the time, was not absolutely well received by people in its early days. The adaptation of the telephone brought with it social changes in many ways, from the possibility of connecting families that were geographically distant, to the need to create social rules around it. The telephone is an invention that transformed much of the social relations and brought important consequences in its beginnings.
  • Acoustic telephone

    Acoustic telephone
    Italian inventor Antonio Meucci built a kind of acoustic telephone as a way to communicate between the stage and control room at the theatre "Teatro della Pergola" in Florence. This telephone is constructed on the model of pipe-telephones on ships and is still working.
  • Morse code

     Morse code
    Samuel B. Morse discovered that you could transmit messages by pressing down or releasing a button in intervals to transmit a pattern of sounds. This was known as Morse code.
  • "Telephone"

    Johann Philipp Reis, a self-taught German scientist and inventor, developed his telephone from 1857. The transmitter was apparently difficult to operate. The needle and contact were critical to the operation of the device. It was called a "telephone" because it transmitted voice sounds electrically at a distance, but it was not a commercially practical telephone.
  • Alexander Graham Bell

    Alexander Graham Bell
    Since coming to America as a teacher of the deaf, Alexander Graham Bell (who first moved to Canada from the UK) had sought a way to transmit speech electronically. He invented the telephone in March 1876.
  • First wireless call

    First wireless call
    Bell set up a lab and worked to improve his invention. The result? The photophone, which was capable of sending sound on a beam of light. Bell made what was essentially history's first wireless call!
  • First long-distance call

    First long-distance call
    Bell makes the first coast-to-coast phone call in January 1915. This was the first long-distance call from a land line. Bell's call helped make long-distance calling a reality.
  • Radio phones

    Radio phones
    The first telephone service from the U.S. to the U.K. was set up in January 1927. The first phones were radio phones, but there were fading and interference issues. Three minutes of time on these phones cost nearly $10.
  • Iconophone

    AT&T created a two-way videotelephone called the Iconophone. The Iconophone let people see, hear, and reply to each other in real time. The idea didn't see much commercial success.
  • The first radio telephone calls from the U.S. to Japan

    The first radio telephone calls  from the U.S. to Japan
    The first radio telephone calls are placed from the U.S. to Japan, facilitating communication across the Pacific Ocean.
  • First public videophone network

    First public videophone network
    The first public videophone network is set up in Nazi Germany at a trade fair. Use of the network was limited to "Aryans only."
  • John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley

    John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley
    In 1946, an electronic gizmo known as a transistor was created by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley. This would replace large vacuum tube systems and allow computers to be merged with electronics, the beginnings of smartphone development.
  • First transatlantic telephone cable

    First transatlantic telephone cable
    The first transatlantic telephone cable makes calls much more affordable than the radio telephone system it helped to replace.
  • Communications Satellite Act

    Communications Satellite Act
    The Communications Satellite Act is passed, allowing the use of satellites in telecommunications.
  • First picturephone service

    First picturephone service
    Trials begin of the first picturephone service. In July, Union Carbide Corporation started testing on the first picturephone network.
  • Martin Cooper

    Martin Cooper
    Martin Cooper makes the first cell phone call to Joel Engle, a rival at Bell Labs. The first cell phone took a year to recharge and the maximum talk time was just 30 minutes.
  • Generation 1G

    Generation 1G
    The first automated commercial cellular network, called Generation 1G, is launched in Japan. At the same time, the Nordic mobile phone system is established in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
  • "The Brick"

    "The Brick"
    Motorola releases the DynaTac mobile telephone in 1983. Nicknamed "The Brick," it had one hour of talk time and eight hours of standby.
  • MicroTAC

    Only a few years after "The Brick" is released, Motorola develops the lightest cellular device on the market. The phone is called the MicroTAC and weighs in at only 12 ounces.
  • First smartphones

    First smartphones
    The first smartphones came out for the public to buy. IBM created one called Simon, which had a touch screen and could send and receive faxes.
  • First personal communications service

    First personal communications service
    Sprint opens the first personal communications service. It was the first cellular network designed for private use for individuals who own cellular phones.
  • Iridium

    A company called Iridium puts a canopy of 64 satellites is into place. They also made the first hand-held satellite phones, replacing "bag" phones with ones that were much less cumbersome. This move would lead to development of the modern smartphone.
  • Phone calls over internet protocold

    Phone calls over internet protocold
    Technology is developed to transmit phone calls over Internet protocols. Long-distance charges could be avoided through the use of established computer networks
  • First-generation iPhone released.

    First-generation iPhone released.
    The development of the iPhone as a product began in 2005 and continued in complete secrecy until its public introduction. The device broke with prevailing mobile phone designs by eliminating most of the physical hardware buttons and avoiding a stylus for its screen-based interface, instead featuring just a few physical buttons and a touch screen.
  • T-Mobile G1

    T-Mobile G1
    Both the iTunes Store and the Android market open up for smartphone users in 2008. This heralds the beginning of a huge surge in the popularity of apps. The first commercially available smartphone running Android was the HTC Dream, also known as T-Mobile G1, announced on September 23, 2008.

    Smartphones continue to develop. The first 4G handset is released this year, bringing data onto consumers' phones at blazing-fast speeds.
  • 5G smartphone

    5G smartphone
    On March 6, 2020 the first-ever all-5G smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S20, was released.