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The History of the Telephone

The idea of a telephone was first proposed by Innocenzo Manzietti in 1844, but it wasn’t until 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone. On March 10, 1876, he spoke into his device, saying, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” The message was successfully received, and the telephone was born! The earliest telephones were large and only had one port that was used for both speaking and listening, but by the 1890s, telephones started to become smaller. They also featured a separate receiver that had to be removed from a hook in order to use it, giving rise to the popular phrase “off the hook” – as in, “the phone has been ringing off the hook all day!” By the 20th century, telephones had gotten even smaller and more affordable, eventually developing into the modern home telephones that we are familiar with today.

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