This timeline of the telephone covers landline, radio, and cellular telephony technologies and provides many important dates in the history of the telephone.
The instruments at present in Osborne are merely those supplied for ordinary commercial purposes, and it will afford me much pleasure to be permitted to offer to the Queen a set of Telephones to be made expressly for her Majesty's use.
Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.
A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be easily heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals that are transmitted via cables and other communication channels to another telephone which reproduces the sound to the receiving user. The term is derived from Greek: τῆλε and φωνή, together meaning distant voice. A common short form of the term is phone, which came into use early in the telephone's history.
Telephony is the field of technology involving the development, application, and deployment of telecommunication services for the purpose of electronic transmission of voice, fax, or data, between distant parties. The history of telephony is intimately linked to the invention and development of the telephone.
Johann Philipp Reis was a self-taught German scientist and inventor. In 1861, he constructed the first make-and-break telephone, today called the Reis telephone.
Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci was an Italian inventor and an associate of Giuseppe Garibaldi, a major political figure in the history of Italy. Meucci is best known for developing a voice-communication apparatus that several sources credit as the first telephone.
A telephone call or telephone conversation, also known as a phone call or voice call, is a connection over a telephone network between the called party and the calling party. Telephone calls started in the late 19th century. As technology has improved, a majority of telephone calls are made over a cellular network through mobile phones or over the internet with Voice over IP. Telephone calls are typically used for real-time conversation between two or more parties, especially when the parties cannot meet in person.
Elisha Gray was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 in Highland Park, Illinois. Some recent authors have argued that Gray should be considered the true inventor of the telephone because Alexander Graham Bell allegedly stole the idea of the liquid transmitter from him. Although Gray had been using liquid transmitters in his telephone experiments for more than two years previously, Bell's telephone patent was upheld in numerous court decisions.
The invention of the telephone was the culmination of work done by more than one individual, and led to an array of lawsuits relating to the patent claims of several individuals and numerous companies.
Northwestern Bell Telephone Company served the states of the upper Midwest opposite the Southwestern Bell area, including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska.
George H. Sweigert (1920–1999) is credited as the first inventor to patent the cordless telephone.
The Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell controversy concerns the question of whether Gray and Bell invented the telephone independently. This issue is narrower than the question of who deserves credit for inventing the telephone, for which there are several claimants.
This history of the telephone chronicles the development of the electrical telephone, and includes a brief overview of its predecessors. The first telephone patent was granted to Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.
Acoustic telegraphy was a name for various methods of multiplexing telegraph messages simultaneously over a single telegraph wire by using different audio frequencies or channels for each message. A telegrapher used a conventional Morse key to tap out the message in Morse code. The key pulses were transmitted as pulses of a specific audio frequency. At the receiving end a device tuned to the same frequency resonated to the pulses but not to others on the same wire.
A patent caveat, often shortened to caveat, was a legal document filed with the United States Patent Office.
A water microphone or water transmitter is based on Ohm's law that current in a wire varies inversely with the resistance of the circuit. The sound waves from a human voice cause a diaphragm to vibrate which causes a needle or rod to vibrate up and down in water that has been made conductive by a small amount of acid. As the needle or rod vibrates up and down in the water, the resistance of the water fluctuates which causes alternating current in the circuit. For this to work, the resistance of the water must vary substantially over the short distance the needle or rod vibrates. Acidulated water works well because only a small amount of acid is added. If one millimeter of acidulated water has a resistance of 100 ohms, two millimeters would have 200 ohms which would produce enough alternating current to transmit audio signals in thousands of feet of wire. Mercury will not work because the resistance of one millimeter of mercury is less than a tenth of an ohm and vibration of a needle in mercury would produce negligible alternating current.
Alexander Graham Bell honors and tributes include honors bestowed upon him and awards named for him.
These are some of the links to articles that are telephone related.
The Telephone Cases, 126 U.S. 1 (1888), were a series of U.S. court cases in the 1870s and the 1880s related to the invention of the telephone, which culminated in an 1888 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld the priority of the patents belonging to Alexander Graham Bell. Those patents were used by the American Bell Telephone Company and the Bell System, although they had also acquired critical microphone patents from Emile Berliner.
The push-button telephone is a telephone that has buttons or keys for dialing a telephone number, in contrast to having a rotary dial as in earlier telephone instruments.
A telephone exchange, telephone switch, or central office is a telecommunications system used in the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or in large enterprises. It interconnects telephone subscriber lines or virtual circuits of digital systems to establish telephone calls between subscribers.