Timeline of the telephone
From Academic Kids
A Timeline of the history of the telephone.
- 1849 Antonio Meucci demonstrates a device later called a telephone to individuals in Havana. (It is disputed if this is an electric telephone.)
- 1854 Charles Bourseul publishes a description of a make-break telephone transmitter and receiver but does not construct a working instrument.
- 1854 Antonio Meucci supposedly demonstrates an electric telephone in New York.
- 1860 Johann Philipp Reis demonstrates a make-break transmitter after the design of Bourseul.
- 1860 Meucci supposedly demonstrates his telephone on Staten Island.
- 1861 The German Philipp Reis manages transfer voice electrically over a distance of 340 feet, see Reis' telephone.
- 1871 Antonio Meucci files a patent caveat (a statement of intention to patent).
- 1872 Elisha Gray founds Western Electric Manufacturing Company.
- July 1873 Thomas Alva Edison notes variable resistance in carbon grains due to pressure, but shelves the discovery.
- 1874 Gray demonstrates his liquid transmitter telephone at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church.
- 2 June 1875 Bell first transmits voice.
- 1 July 1875 Bell first uses a bi-directional capable telephone (Both the transmitter and the receiver were identical membrane instruments.)
- 14 February 1876 Bell files his first patent on the telephone.
- Two hours later Gray files his patent application.
- 30 January 1877 Bell patents the electro-dynamic transmitter, receiver telephone
- 4 March 1877 Emile Berliner patents telephone exchange in Paris, France.
- January 1878 First North American telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut.
- 1879 Bell merges with the New England Telephone Company to form the National Bell Telephone Company.
- 10 September 1879 Connolly and McTighe patent a "dial" telephone exchange (limited in the number of lines to the number of positions on the dial.).
- 1880 National Bell merges with others to form the American Bell Telephone Company.
- 1882 A telephone company --an American Bell affiliate-- is set up in Mexico City.
- 1885 American Telephone and Telegraph Company AT&T is formed.
- 1886 Gilliland's Automatic circuit changer is put into service between Worcester and Leicester allowing for the first Operator dialing allowing one operator to run two exchanges.
- 1899 AT&T becomes the overall holding company for all the Bell companies.
- November 2 1889 A. G. Smith patents a telegraph switch which provides for trunks between groups of selectors allowing for the first time, fewer trunks than there are lines, and automatic selection of an idle trunk.
- 10 March 1891 Almon Strowger patents the Strowger switch the first Automatic telephone exchange.
- 30 October 1891 The Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange company is formed.
- 3 November 1892 The first Strowger switch goes into operation in LaPorte, Indiana with 75 subscribers and capacity for 99.
- 1915 Vacuum tubes used in coast-to-coast telephone circuits
- 1919 AT&T installs the first dial telephones in the Bell System, in Norfolk VA. The last manual telephones in the system were not converted to dial until 1978.
- 1927 First trans-atlantic phone call
- 1935 First telephone call around the world.
- 1941 Touch Tone dialing introduced for operators in Baltimore, Maryland
- 1946 National numbering plan (area codes)
- 1946 First commercial mobile phone call
- 1946 Bell Labs develops the germanium point contact transistor
- 1951 Direct Distance Dialing (DDD) first offered at Englewood, New Jersey, to 11 selected major cities across the United States; this service grew rapidly across major cities during the 1950s, but did not become widespread until the 1960s.
- 1958 Modems used for direct connection via voice phone lines
- 1960 ESS-1
- 1961 Touch-tone released to public
- 1962 T-1 service in Skokie, Illinois
- 1970 ESS#2 electronic switch.
- 1970 Modular telephone cords and jacks introduced
- 1975 Last manual telephone switchboard in Maine is retired
- 1982 Caller ID patented by Carolyn Doughty, Bell Labs
- 1982 Bone, Idaho gets phone service (last in the US)
- 1987 ADSL introduced
- 1993 Telecom Relay Service available for the disabled
- 1995 Caller ID implemented nationally