Throwback Thursday - The Rotary Dial Telephone

December 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday

By Aimee

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Throwback Thursday - Old Telephone-min.jpg

We all know what a telephone is and how its usage has evolved from just for talking to basically doing almost everything, like controlling your house lights and all. 

But this Alexander Graham Bell invention had humble beginnings, as its essential elements only include a microphone (transmitter) to speak into and an earpphone (receiver) which reproduces the voice in a distant location. Now, the basic landline phones are cordless and gone are the rotary dials and replaced with keypads. They even now have the capability of storing voicemails and unlocking doors for people to get into a residential building.

But we won't be getting into its evolution. Let's just dive into the fun and look at some of the telephone trivias:

  • Alexander Graham Bell proposed the telephone greeting should be "Ahoy!"

  • Some early phone users pushed for the greeting to be "What is wanted?"

  • "Hello" was invented by Thomas Eddison and won out of the two previous proposed greetings and was added to the Oxford English dictionary in 1883.

  • The term "telephone" is derived from the Greek, meaning "far-off sound."

  • The very first words spoken into a telephone were: "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you." Bell called Watson, his assistant, after accidentally spilling a beaker of acid on his leg.

  • The first area code was 201 since this is where the first phone company set roots. Area codes were created with the rotary phones in mind, so large cities were given numbers near the beginning of the dial with New York getting 212 and LA with 213.

  • After Alexander Graham Bell passed away, during his funeral, on August 4, 1922, telephone service nationwide was suspended for 1 minute.

  • The telephone number was invented by Dr. Moses Parker in 1879. During an outbreak of measles, Dr. Parker was concerned that the replacement operators that were filling in for the sick ones would not know which people were associated with the several hundred jacks that needed to be patched.

  • "The number you have dialed is not in service." This famous message was recorded by singer and voice actor Jane Barbe. The recording is heard by an estimated 40 million people a day.


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Source: Visually

Tags: Throwback Thursday

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