AT&T ushers in the cross-country call, 100 years ago

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

100th Anniversary Of First Transcontinental Phone Call: Historic Phones Unboxed Ahead Of Great American Milestone And PPIE 100 Exhibit.

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of what is often called the first transcontinental phone call, made by iconic communications inventor Alexander Graham Bell, in New York, to his assistant Thomas Watson, all the way out in San Francisco.

The great American milestone, demonstrated in advance of the 1915 World’s Fair, spurred a century of innovation in the telecommunications industry and helped showcase San Francisco’s “rebirth” following the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. These exhibitions will celebrate PPIE, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to see those original phones and other artifacts from the World’s Fair that highlight the great innovation milestones and discover how our spirit of innovation has shaped the city’s past, present, and future.” “At that time, it was really a tool for businesses, not so much a residential tool because of the cost. But those that used it loved it because it bridged time and space and allowed people to talk to their loved ones far away,” reports AT & T Archives and History Center director Bill Caughlin. “It was a huge achievement.” Do you hear me?” Bell was also the man behind the very first phone call of all time, which took place on March 10, 1876 — 39 years prior to the transcontinental conversation. I want to see you.” AT&T built the coast-to-coast telephone system, which included 130,000 telephone poles and 2,500 tons of copper wire that spanned 3,400 miles, according to the company.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) helps millions of people and businesses around the globe stay connected through leading wireless, high-speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. We’re helping people mobilize their worlds with state-of-the-art communications, entertainment services and amazing innovations like connected cars and devices for homes, offices and points in between.

And this was in 1915, which means few roads and very little in the way of trucks or construction equipment availble to set up the infrastructure for this call. The whole thing was greeted with a little less fanfare than the transcontinental railroad, but it might have actually meant more to the United States. With smartphones and wireless networks, our devices and infrastructure may have changed dramatically, but the telephone’s role in society keeps growing.

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