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January in phone history

Wed 02 Jan, 2013 // Firstnumber Team
morse telegram

There's nothing quite like a brief history lesson to kick off the new year! January has been quite significant in phone history with events such as the first transcontinental phone call taking place in the first month of the year. But what else has occurred over the years?

Well, on January 6, 1838 America saw its first telegram sent by Morse across a whole two miles of wiring!

A few years down the line (pun intended!), on January 20, 1876 the father of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, signed and authenticated his patent application for “an apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically”.

This wasn't Bell's only patent! He submitted another a year later, on January 30, 1877 for a more sophisticated device, the electromagnetic telephone.

On January 14, 1878 Bell was ready to demonstrate his invention to Queen Victoria at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. He made calls to London, Southampton and Cowes which were the first long distance calls in the UK.

Quite a few years on, on 25 January, 1915, the first transcontinental telephone call took place in the USA betweenThomas Augustus Watson in San Francisco and Alexander Graham Bell in New York City.

12 years later, in 1927, New York and London were provided with a regular public transatlantic telephone service. Originally, the price was set at £15 for three minutes! This was reduced the following year to a slightly more modest £9.

1930 was the year of the first picture telegraph or fax. The service was offered between the Central Telegraph Office in London and its equivalent in Berlin. Soon after, services to other European cities became available too.

More recently, in 1980, Loch Fyne in Scotland became the setting for the laying of the world's first purpose-designed optical fibre submarine cable. The test loop was five nautical miles long. Cables like this are designed to transmit telecommunication signals.

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