How did telephony start

If there has to be one thing that must be given credit for bringing such diverse changes in the world, it is telephony and the telecommunication industry. It all started with one silly idea of inventing the simple telephone. Today, it has evolved to the degree of Artificial Intelligence. Let’s find out where and how it all actually began.

The first time

The communication cycle was pretty much restricted to telegrams back then. It was high time that something faster was introduced. During the 1870s, there were surprisingly a lot of researchers trying to come up with an effective device. It was 1876 when Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell introduced an electric telephone. He, as well as Alisha Gray, both applied for a patent on their telephone creation on the same day but Bell was a few hours early, so he won the credit for being the inventor. People within an 800 meter reach could communicate by transfer of sound waves through acid soaked wires. Of course, this early level technology wasn’t very remarkable. However, the weak signal operating device was the best of the time for more than 25 years.

Getting better

In 1903, the device was improved in terms of connections as well as the design of the phone device itself. A receiving end was introduced along with a separate hanging up part. This was a dual piece device. To make things more convenient, in 1910, a new device design was introduced that included one piece that worked as an earpiece as well as had the microphone. This is referred to as the Marty telephone. The telephony industry did grow very rapidly. By 1905, there were 2.2 million telephone users in the USA. By 1910, this number went up to 7 million.

Field Telephones

The industry was expanding and improving when the World War 1 struck. In order to make communication easy through this time, improvements in the telephone were made very swiftly. Previously, radio signals were the major source of transferring messages between soldiers. But neither was that convenient nor safe. The requirements of the war led to the invention of field phones. Not only were these phones lighter in weight which made them easy to carry around in war, they also provided better communication through wires that were widely spread across Germany. In the beginning, wires were laid over the ground surface. Over time, the people of the industry learned that safety and prevention of damage were only possible if the wires were installed underground.

Dialers and keypads

It was 1922 when telephones started appearing with rotary dialers. Up to this point, the device was made of wooden material. However, it was replaced by a hard plastic called Bakelite in 1941. Now was also the time when telephones became a common utility in every home. This luxury was not just the elite’s ownership at this point. Gradually, the rotary dialer started disappearing and a keypad appeared in its place.

Going wireless

Wires and cables were the sources of signal transfer up until 1990. It was now the time to introduce radio waves into the communication cycle. This meant the introduction of cordless telephones. People were no longer restricted to a certain device due to wires. However, cordless phones couldn’t be taken far away from the base device that was still connected through wires. The main communication was dependent on the transfer of sound waves through wires still. It was just the traveling from the base device to the cordless part that involved radio waves. People could do with a little more convenience. Hence, the idea of ‘cell’ phones popped up. We’re all well aware of what a mobile phone really is. Of course, the mobile phones of the early 2000s weren’t anything like what we have today. They had small screens and a large keypad that wasn’t even QWERTY. The number keypad was gradually overtaken by QWERTY keyboards. The design altered a lot. Finally, in 2007, the world was introduced with the first ever iPhone. A year later, an Android phone came into being as well. Ever since then, we’ve experienced multiple types of smartphones. Every year, some new technology is introduced that leaves the users’ mind blown.


It has been around a decade since the last major update in the world of telephones. It wouldn’t be wrong to expect something even better in the near future. The pace at which the telephony industry has evolved is astounding. Let’s wait and see what new things the future holds.

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