The First Ever Telephone Conversation
I bet you’re scrolling through this article on your phone.
You are, aren’t you?
It’s amazing what those little devices can do, right?
A lot of work has gone into them over the last 150 years, or so.
That doesn’t seem long ago at all.
Especially not for something we see as such a necessity.
Well, you’ve got Alexander Graham Bell to thank for that.
Not only did he invent the telephone, he also produced the first ever phone call.
But just who is Alexander Graham Bell?
And how did that first conversation go?
Well, don’t worry.
I’m going to tell you everything.
Who Was Alexander Graham Bell?
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1847- Alexander Graham Bell was always interested in sound..
And public speaking!
He was born into a family of speech instructors.
His granddad had a keen interest in speech disorders.
His dad devised a technique to teach people with hearing impairments to speak.
He even taught a hearing impaired woman to play a piano.
And she played it well.
It was almost a given that Bell would work his way into the family business.
Did his family’s careers influence his own?
Before he established himself as an inventor, he actually became a teacher for the hearing impaired himself.
Talk about the apple not falling far from the tree.
Teaching students from Northampton to Connecticut, Bell traveled the world during his time as an educator.
He began experimenting with the creation of the telephone as a hobby on the side!
His understanding of sound really helped with both his teaching methods and his creation of the telephone.
I definitely believe this is because the environment he was raised in and the fact his mother and wife were both deaf.
Who Was The Mysterious Mr Watson?
Born in Salem, January 18th 1854, Thomas A Watson is famously known as Bell’s assistant.
And the recipient of the first ever phone call.
Before he was hired by Bell, he was actually a bookkeeper and a carpenter!
What Was The First Telephone Conversation?
On March 10th, 1876 the first ever phone call was made.
And I bet you want to know what was said.
There have been some discrepancies over the years, over the exact phrasing of that very first sentence.
Even by the two men it actually involved themselves.
In Bell’s very own journal, he noted the phrase -
“Mr Watson - come here - I want to see you.”
Read More: Alexander Graham Bell's Journal
However, in Watson’s journal, recalling the same event..
He states -
"Mr. Watson - come here - I want you."
So, which man was correct?
Well, we’ll never know, as there isn’t actually a recording of the original message.
I know, gutting.
Their phrases are very similar though, so I guess the slight wording difference isn’t important!
I do have something just as interesting to show you, though!
In 2013, a 130 year old disc was discovered amongst audio recordings at the Smithsonian.
Thanks to the people who restored it, we can actually hear Alexander Graham Bell’s voice.
Have a listen!
Read More: Hear Alexander Graham Bell Speak
What Happened After The Invention Of The Telephone?
Because the telephone was such a success, Bell decided to write to his dad.
He predicted a future where "friends converse with each other without leaving home."
And boy, was he right.
We could actually live our entire lives without ever leaving our bedrooms!
However, the telephone wasn’t Bell’s only invention.
He actually went on to invent many other things, including the photo-phone.
This was basically the first wireless phone ever created.
(Think of it as the parent of the fiber optics phone system.)
He then went on to form the AT&T.
His company survived until the 1980s, before reforming as various micro-companies.
Yep, over 100 years after his invented the telephone!
What a legend!
Watson actually resigned from his position at the Bell Telephone Company in 1881.
Luckily, his bank was full from all the royalties he received.
He used these royalties to give farming a go (yeah, random).
He also dabbled in a bit of acting, becoming a traveling Shakespearean actor for a while.
In 1883, he founded the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company.
By 1901, his company was one of the biggest shipyards in the US - and one of the major ones used in World War II.
In 1915, Bell recreated his first ever telephone conversation at the opening of the transcontinental telephone lines.
From New York, Bell called and said -
“Mr Watson - come here - I want to see you.”
Ever the joker, Watson replied that this time it would take him a week.
He was in San Francisco.
There you have it.
The first ever telephone call.
Were you impressed?
And to think it all happened a little over 150 years ago.
And now, 150 year later, we’ve become reliant on our phones for communication.
These tiny devices can do anything.
They can call anyone in the world.
Order you food without leaving the house.
Tell you the exact temperature of the room you’re sitting in right now ...and so much more!
Now, that really is a smart phone.
Contributor & Telephones Expert
I’m the Telephone Expert here at QuoteGrab, covering everything you need to know about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Phone Systems from all over the world.
QuoteGrab.com is a trading name of Lolly Labs Limited which is registered in England and Wales (Company No. 11854891). Registered office: Suite 345 50 Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8EA. Lolly Labs Limited. All Rights Reserved.