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The Development of the Telephone

The Development of the Telephone

In 1876, March 10th to be exact, Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call through to his assistant. This initial call that simply requested his assistant’s presence in his office was the starting point for where telephones have reached now – but it hasn’t been a direct path to the present day, there have been bumps along the road.

To begin with, Bell was only the first person to patent the telephone – Elisha Gray, Antonio Meucci and Innocenzo Manzetti all to be the first to create the primitive, complicated telephone that preceded Bell’s. Since the late 19th century though the progressions in the technology have been vast and now, sitting in the mid-2010s, all of the original telephones look somewhat basic.

Through the first fifty years of the telephone’s existence the most popular model was the “candlestick” which had the receiver and the mouth piece as separate entities meaning that the device commanded the use of both the user’s hands. In the 1930s however manufacturers acknowledged this difficulty and combined the two and thus was the birth of the handset which has, essentially, remained throughout the telephone’s life.

Of course the development of the design is not the only important thing, there is also the advancement of the dialling capabilities. Originally, there were operators who were connected the minute the handset was picked up. This meant that callers stated the address at which the person they wished to speak with resided and the operator connected the two parties. While this worked admirably, it left a lot to be desired when it came to efficiency and this saw the invention of the ‘rotary dial’.

This form of dialling proved somewhat tedious and lasted only a decade or so before AT&T introduced the Touch-Tone telephone which was one of the earliest push button phones which found its popularity in the 1960s and 70s. The way these worked was that each button would send a specific frequency through to the operator and this would allow the operator to know whom the caller wished to be connected with.

Given that this was a mere fifty years ago, it seems astonishing that telephones have progressed to the level that they have, perhaps it just appears to be documented to a greater standard. When Martin Cooper invented the first mobile phone in 1973 it had just one and half hours worth of talk time and cost just short of $4000.

Motorola were the first to launch a commercial mobile phone but Nokia and Sanyo were not far behind and all of these companies played their respective roles in building the foundations of what we now know today to be the Smartphone.

These early phones laid the groundwork for both design and functionality but when the BlackBerry came along in the 2000s there was a whole new standard to reach for. With emails, BlackBerry Messenger which allowed all BlackBerrys to communicate with each other over an elite in platform along with interactive calendars, cameras and so on, the BlackBerry really was the business phone must-have.

It was the touchscreen mobile phone that really broke the barriers though and the launch of the iPhone in 2007 launched the current generation of touchscreen, interactive smartphones. They were initially rebuffed by BlackBerry supporters but it became all too clear too quickly that the sleek design and high quality operating system was the future for mobile phones and those who use them have never gone back.

These days there are hundreds of options for telephone systems – ConCall offer the ability to include multiple participants. For more information this, follow the link: http://www.concall.co.uk/.