Communication has always been of the highest importance to members of any society. Without communication how would anyone know the day’s current events, know about jobs or know what is happening with one’s family. Most communication had been face to face verbal exchange. Then printed word became a way to communicate especially at a distance. Information took quite awhile to arrive at its destination. People were constantly in need of faster and better communication. The invention of the telegraph improved communication dramatically. Yet, the invention of the telephone brought a breakthrough of the greatest advantage for society. It is an invention that changed the way we communicate and impart information, and it continues to evolve for better or worse.

The principle of combining voice and electricity brought about the idea of the telephone in 1874. Alexander Graham Bell had a definite interest and invented an apparatus in 1876. Had he not convinced his 2 partners of the potential of such a machine that could transmit voice, they wouldn’t have received their U.S. patent, “which now considered the most valuable patent even issued.”(1)

Bell exhibited his new invention at the Philadelphia centennial exposition in 1876. A Texas newspapers publishes was interested in the telephone. A line was later installed between his home and his newspaper office in 1878. With subsequent demand for more telephones, a switchboard and telephone exchange were opened in1879. Bell formed the Bell Telephone Company in 1877 in Ontario. Other companies were unofficially opening up in the same area. The idea soon spread. Telephone companies were officially designated to service, maintain and operate the system.

At this time there was much interest in improving the telephone system, but progress was slow for the telephone. Interest in using a telephone grew. Not everyone had access to a telephone. Installations were scattered throughout the country and not available every where.

As the need arose improvements and modifications were made. Some of these were permanent outdoor wiring, commercial telephone service, a workable switchboard, and operators, first boys, then women. Later came the use of an alpha-numeric system for identification of customers instead of using their names.

Stroger, from Missouri, invented the phone dial and installed an automatic exchange in the United States. It wasn’t licensed though by the bell telephone system until 1924. At this time there were other telephone systems beside Bell Telephone. There were problems that arose because of there incompatibility. They could not be connected to each other. This was a problem for the customers who couldn’t communicate with one another. All of the independent companies battled for providing services to customers. There were also problems with interference from other uses of electricity, particularly trolley cars and sheet lamps. Lightning also destroyed lines.

Later on the use of power from battery systems was established in1888. The idea of the automatic dialing system was being patented so the “use of operators could be eliminated.” (2)

As the system improved, more people could connect and communicate almost instantaneously. “Amplifying sound waves with the use of repeaters was invented which allowed long distance service to the constructed between New York and

San Francisco in 1913.” (3)

In 1911 American Telephone and Telegraph took control of Western Union. By 1918, ten million telephones uses were being serviced by the Bell System. Many improvements for the good of the communication system continued through the years. Some of these improvements are multiple calls on a circuit, a single unit handset receiver, transatlantic service, electronic switching and mobile service, by 1946. Innovations continued with microwave transmission, all numeric calling, the first satellite in 1962, and the development of video phones in 1965. All of this leads us to the status of modern communication in the new millennium.

The 21st century has seen the coming of “The Information Superhighway”. (4) This defines the ultimate objective of global communication. The human race will be linked together for better or for worse. Today more and more telecommunications are digital. Our network is rapidly becoming digital. In some ways the revolution has only begun and we have many years ahead to make the current system seem like Morse code.

Today in this century, the most important product is information. People’s needs are as such, that telecommunication is the key to this whole process. Everyone needs