The basic change which a single invention brought to the world is exactly the telephone. Talking to dear ones far way with effortless ease and comfort of one’s home is the benefit of this invention. In this modern world of mobile phones and Internet telephone, the fundamental shift to society that occurred with the invention of the telephone is taken for granted.
In the old school days, kids were taught to tie two tin cans together using thin wire and holding them tightly apart from each other allowing sound to flow from one end to the other. This is a basic telephone is the one seen in the Flintstones cartoons but the real ones require electricity and components.
This is an entirely different system used in ships in the shape of long pipes in the ship’s bridge could be carried down to the engine room. The electric telegraph was invented in the early 1800s and was constantly carrying messages of all sorts. There was always a desire to improve the telegraph. The knowledge of sound waves through teaching deaf students gave Alexander Graham Bell an idea to invent telephone.
Bell was credited with being a gentle man and an inventor of telephone. He almost lost that honor as Bell and Elisha Gray, another prominent inventor applied for his patent for the telephone on the same day, the 14th of February 1876. Unfortunately, Bell’s lawyer and the clerk of the patent office who had served in the Civil War and they conspired for Bell’s patent registration first. The patent examiner called a halt to processing when he realized that both applications were similar until they could be demonstrated. Bell demonstrated the technique devised by Gray and was granted the patent. According to historians, Gray would have considered to be the inventor of telephone if Bell had not demonstrated first.
Only a year after Bell’s patent was registered, the techniques of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson directly led to the first commercial telephone services. Other prominent scientists before Bell like Johann Reis of Germany and Antonio Meucci of Italy had also demonstrated telephone prototypes but their techniques were not very advanced.
The citizens of Boston benefited for the first time in 1877 with the installing of first telephone. Telephone switchboards were quickly invented allowing subscribers to talk to any phone connected to the same set of telephone lines. The first entered service in 1878 in New Haven. After first three years of commercial telephones, the United States boasted nearly thousands of telephones. With the invention of the telephone switchboard, subscribers needed a way to effectively connect with each other without connecting to an operator.
Early telephone exchanges were locally based and a subscriber could only talk to another subscriber on their own exchange by asking an operator to place the call. Long distance calls could not be placed from home. An appointment was needed with the central telephone office that could transmit over longer wire distances.
The actual telephone device used in the home underwent significant development in the 1920s when Western Electric developed a phone that consisted of a handset including earpiece and microphone. This allowed subscribers to talk while moving for the first time. The Bell Model 102 was the very first development of this type of telephone still popular today.
Telephones didn’t change much after 1930s until the introduction of digital telephones and exchanges in the 1960s. By 2005, mobile phone connections in many developed nations outshined the fixed line connections.