The Telephone: Oh my! You’ve come a long way baby!

telephone 01DALLAS, Dec 7, 2014/ — Today, the nation’s telephone system (in fact, the world, come to think of it) will be humming with activity as usual. From sending holiday wishes via text, a voice call or even a video call, to uploading images and creating new posts in social media, the telephone is a must-have utility or gadget, depending on how you look at it.

Yet, in 1876, a mere 138 years ago, it is hard to imagine that there were three telephones in the whole U.S. But Alexander Graham Bell’s startup proved a keeper, and a decade later there were 167,000 phones in the U.S. By the 50th anniversary year of the phone’s invention, there were nearly 18 million in the country.

In 1926, a three-minute call from one of those phones in New York to another in San Francisco carried the considerable charge of $11.30, the equivalent of almost $152 today. Now, 70 percent of households have landline phones, and 89 percent own cellphones, with lots of free long distance included in the many plans.

Oh yes! The telephone has turned into a smart phone! And my oh my, you’ve come a long way baby.


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