1892 – First telephone call
Innovation: first telephone call
Location: New York
By: Alexander Graham Bell
In 1874, telegraph messages were rapidly expanding, but many problems deemed the matter impractical and unintuitive. In March 1875, Alexander Graham Bell visited Joseph Henry, a famous scientist, asking about electrical advice to transmit the human voice by telegraph. At the time, Bell did not have the equipment or the money try to create a working device. With much persistence, he later gained financial support where he was then able to hire Thomas Watson as his assistant to study acoustical telegraphy. Bell was issued a patent on March 7, 1876 by the US Patent Office for “the method of transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically.” Three days after his patent was issued, Bell succeeded in getting his telephone to work, transmitting the famous sentence, “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.”
Several successful voice transitions were performed over the next few years, however the public was concerned with whether long distance transitions were possible. The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877, and by 1886, more than 150,000 people in the US owned telephones. Several important public demonstrations included Bell at the opening of the long distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892 and the first commercial transcontinental telephone call in 1915 from New York City to San Francisco.
In 1973, John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola, introduced the first hand-held wireless telephone for use on a cellular network.