On this day in 1876, inventor Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent on something called a telephone. A few days later, his new invention ushered in a communications revolution when it transmitted the now-famous sentence, ""Mr. Watson, come here, I need you."
Bell's design sketch of the telephone, 1876.
A photograph of Bell from 1906. When he died on August 2, 1922, the nation paid silent tribute to the great inventor by not ringing its phones for one minute.
Bell was fortunate. His patent filing was made a couple of hours earlier than a filing by Elisha Gray for his telephone prototype. Gray later went on to found the tern Electric Manufacturing Company. Despite
Bell used a liquid telephone to transmit his first ever sentence.
The world's first telephone directory, New Haven, Conn. 1878.
Bell makes the ceremonial call to open telephone service between New York and Chicago, Oct. 18, 1892.
In 1919, AT&T installed the first dial telephones in the Bell System, in Norfolk, Va.
AT&T introduces touchtone service in 1963. Instead of a telephone dial, users now could use a keypad.
Martin Cooper (R), invented the handheld cellular in 1973 while working at Motorola. Here is shown in a photo with Raymond Samuel Tomlinson (L) attending the Prince of Asturias Awards 2009 ceremony on October 23, 2009 in Oviedo, Spain.
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