The First Telephone Call
What were the first words ever spoken on the
telephone? They were spoken by Alexander Graham Bell, inventor
of the telephone, when he made the first call on March 10, 1876,
to his assistant, Thomas Watson: "Mr. Watson--come here--I want
to see you." What would you have said?
Born in 1847 in
Edinburgh, Scotland, Bell became an expert in sound and public
speaking. His understanding of sound helped him to teach the
deaf and then invent the telephone.
Bell was a man of
vision. After the telephone's success, he wrote to his father
about a future when "friends converse with each other without
leaving home." How often do you talk with your friends on the
phone? Can you imagine how life would be different without it?
Inspired by his scientific curiosity, Bell went on to
create other new inventions, including the photophone in 1880.
This first wireless telephone transmitted sound on a beam of
light instead of electrical wires. It is the forefather of the
cordless phone and 80% of today's telephone systems that use
Bell's first telephone call was so famous,
he repeated the phrase in 1915 in the formal opening of the
completed transcontinental telephone lines connecting America's
East and West coasts. Picking up the phone in New York, Mr. Bell
said, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." But this time Watson
replied that it would take him a week; he was on the other end
of the line in San Francisco.