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The Evolution of the Telephone


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This is a presentation I researched and put together for a job interview.

The Evolution of the Telephone

  1. 1. The Evolution of the Telephone: From the Crank Phone to the iPhoneJuly 20, 2009 Created by Mark Litwa
  2. 2. How It All Began• An accident gives Alexander Graham Bell his idea for the telephone• Alexander Graham Bell patents the electric telephone in 1876• Lawsuits were filed by various individuals, and Bell’s claim to being the inventor of the first telephone had to be defended in court some 600 times
  3. 3. Switchboard Operators
  4. 4. Switchboard Operators• The first telephone operators were under-trained, unsupervised telegraph boys but were soon replaced by young women who proved to be more pleasant and reliable• The ever increasing number of callers soon transformed the profession. By 1946, nearly a quarter-million switchboard operators were employed by AT&T• In 1921, Omaha, Nebraska opened the first all- automatic exchange• Today there are no telephones served by manual exchanges in the United States. All telephone subscribers are served by automatic exchanges run by computers, which perform the functions of the human operator
  5. 5. How They Work• Sound waves are converted into electrical signals, and electrical signals into sound waves• The telephone required the simultaneous invention of the microphone, signal amplifiers and speaker• Parts: – Transmitter (microphone) – Receiver (speaker) – Dial (pulse or tone) – Alerter/Ringer – Antisidetone network
  6. 6. Long Distance1881 Boston-Salem1884 New York-Boston1892 New York-Chicago1893 Boston-Chicago1895 Chicago-Nashville1896 Kansas City-Omaha1897 New York-Charleston1898 New York-Kansas City1927 Columbia, MO-London
  7. 7. Hand Cranked Wall-1880’s
  8. 8. Candlestick-1890’s
  9. 9. Cradle Phone-1890’s
  10. 10. Candlestick Rotary-1914
  11. 11. Desktop Rotary-1920’s
  12. 12. Touchtone-1960’s
  13. 13. Wall Touchtone-1970’s
  14. 14. Cordless-1980’s
  15. 15. Mobile/Cellular-1983
  16. 16. Candy Bar-1990’s
  17. 17. Clamshell/Flip
  18. 18. Sliding/Qwerty Keyboard
  19. 19. Smart Phone
  20. 20. Blackberry
  21. 21. Bluetooth
  22. 22. Touch Screen
  23. 23. iPhone
  24. 24. VoIP (eg, Skype, Vonage)
  25. 25. Then and Now
  26. 26. Then NowMake calls Make calls Text Voicemail Pictures Video Music Internet Email GPS Videogames And more!
  27. 27. From Big & Bulky to Slim & Subtle
  28. 28. The Future?
  29. 29. ReferencesKrupa, Frederique (1992). The Evolution of the Telephone System: From Bells Electric Toy to the Internet. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from /frede/telephone.html“Telephone.” Wikipedia (2009). Retrieved July 16, 2009, from“Telephone.” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia (2009). Retrieved July 16, 2009, from