The telephone was first invented by an Italian inventor, Antonio Meucci in 1849. Alexander Graham Bell acquired the first successful patent for the telephone in 1876. He brought it to the mass market through his company, AT&T (American Telegraph and Telephone Company). Telephones were initially used for a single person to person communication. It wasn’t until the invention of the first telephone exchange in 1878 that telephones were used to connect with multiple people. After that, the switchboard was introduced. Initially, woman would serve as operators, switching wires on a switchboard to connect callers to the people they wanted to speak with.
Today we have digital phones that transmit information via radio waves as 0’s and 1’s. Digital phones can transfer more information at once and are less error-prone. These phones allow for communication with multiple people at once.
For interactive telephone fun, connect with the Telephone History Center in Rockland
Story Credit: Gregory Venezia