Category Archives: Telephone

Speech Transmission Over Wires Conceived

Today in 1875, during an experiment conducted by Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson, a receiver reed failed to respond to the intermittent current supplied by an electric battery. Bell told Watson, who was at the other end … Continue reading

Posted in Telegraph, Telephone, This day in information | Leave a comment

Moving Pictures by Phone

Today in 1924, AT&T demonstrated long distance telephotography, now known as fax, with the transmission of pictures over telephone wires between Cleveland and New York. Commercial service began in a handful of cities the following year. For many decades, telephotography … Continue reading

Posted in Photography, Telephone, This day in information | Leave a comment

First Patent Application for a Rotary Dial Telephone

Today in 1923, Antoine Barnay filed the first patent application for a rotary dial telephone in France. From The Aesthetic: The old phones have an aesthetic that new phones sorely lack. They ring, for one thing, with real bells. All that … Continue reading

Posted in Patents, Telephone | Leave a comment

International Telegraph Union (ITU) Established

Today in 1865, the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris by the 20 founding members, and the International Telegraph Union (ITU) was established to facilitate subsequent amendments to this initial agreement. Today, the ITU is the leading United Nations agency … Continue reading

Posted in Telecommunications, Telegraph, Telephone, This day in information | Leave a comment

First Mobile Phone Call, 1973

Forty years ago today (April 3, 1973), Martin Cooper made a phone call from a prototype Dyna-Tac handheld cellular phone.  The phone, which weighed about 2.5 lb, connected Cooper to Dr. Joel S. Engel, head of research at Bell Labs. Update: From “8 Guys, 6 … Continue reading

Posted in consumer electronics history, Mobile, Telephone, This day in information | Leave a comment

Automated Telephone Switching

Today in 1891, Almon Brown Strowger was issued a patent for his electromechanical switch to automate telephone exchanges. Steven Lubar in InfoCulture: “…a Kansas City undertaker, Strowger had a good practical reason for inventing the automatic switchboard. Legend has it that his … Continue reading

Posted in AT&T, Automation, Bell Labs, Telephone, This day in information | 1 Comment

The First Telephone Directory

Today in 1878, George Willard Coy and a group of investors from the District Telephone Company of New Haven published the world’s first telephone directory, a single sheet with only 50 names. Yes, another thing we don’t have because of technology. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Quotes, Telephone, This day in information | Leave a comment