Bookmark this page

The Nervous System of Commerce

Thu 20 Jan, 2011 // Firstnumber Team
old phone

It was in January 1915 that the inaugural transcontinental call was made by Alexander Graham Bell, in January 1927 the first wireless telephone service between London and New York was unveiled, and in January 1985 when the first mobile phone call in the UK was made by Vodafone. Noting a remarkably consistent chronological trend, it only seems apt that this January should give rise to a reflection and celebration of the developments in the world of telecommunications.

Since the creation of the telephone by A.G. Bell in 1876, numerous milestones have been passed at blistering speeds on the path to develop communication between houses, cities, countries and continents.

Telephone technology today is not content with the simple business of making calls. Mobile phones, and the more recently developed smartphones, provide a hub from which all manner of actions can be carried out, games can be played, information can be found, and business can continue out of the office. In stark contrast to the humble beginnings of telecoms, current engagement with phone technology goes far beyond communication.

What had been described by Western Union President William Orton in 1874 as “the nervous system of commerce”, has transformed into the nervous system of society. To commerce we would now add e-commerce, relationships, and even survival.

2 years after this commendation by Orton, Bell arrived at the US Patent Office. It was in March 1876 that the patent for “the method of and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically...by causing electrical undulations...” was issued to the inventor.

An initial conversation between Alexander Graham Bell and his associate Thomas Watson over a two mile stretch of wire was recorded in October 1876. 38 years and 3 months later, the same men initiated a dialogue via telephone some 3,400 miles apart. This was the first instance of a transcontinental telephone call, in which Bell – in New York – and Watson – in San Francisco – were able to have an entirely comprehensible conversation.

As globalisation has exerted its effects on the global society, and the increased accessibility to distant parts of the world has allowed for an augmented dispersion of communities and individuals, it has been essential that telecommunication technology was able to keep up with ever-growing demands for enhanced communication capabilities.

To give this concept some weight, information from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2003 stated that the number of international calls made from the US had increased from approximately 200 million per annum to 6.2 billion per annum over the previous 2 decades.

The demand for direct and effective communication channels has never been greater, not only in a business sense, but also on a domestic level. If you have family or friends in another country, take advantage of one of the greatest inventions of all time; free access codes for cheap international calls from Firstnumber.

Search Firstnumber
Stay up to Date
Latest From The Blog


    Students Increasingly ‘Addicted’ to Their Mobile Phones, Warns Study

    A recent study carried out by researchers from Baylor University found that female college students spent upwards of ten hours a day on their phones. The study also showed that 60% of students admitting to being addicted to the technology. "As cell phone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable ...

User Testimonials
Firstnumber lets me make cheaper calls to my good friends in Australia.
Firstnumber is very clear and it's easy to find the country you're looking for.
The prices are very, very good. Thank you firstnumber!
Firstnumber is straightforward and easy to use.
Firstnumber halves my phone bill every month.
I love firstnumber! I used the service to call friends in Thailand.
I couldn't believe that all those hours of firstnumber call time still cost under £10!