Today in Technology History
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After Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone in March 1876, the invention was demonstrated several times for scientists and for the public. Some critics, however, persisted in the belief that the telephone was a fraud perpetrated by Dr. Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson.
On the evening of October 9, 1876, Bell and Watson finally silenced the skeptics with an experiment that couldn't be faked. Bell and Watson attached telephones to both ends of a telegraph wire owned by the Walworth Manufacturing Company. The telegraph line connected the company's offices in Boston, Massachusetts with their factory in Cambridgeport, two miles away. This was the first long-distance telephone conversation.
Bell and Watson talked on the telephone for more than an hour that night. During part of the conversation, both men took notes -- and a few days later, newspapers published their transcripts side-by-side as evidence that the conversation really happened.
Click here to read more about the early history of the telephone, after the two-mile conversation described above.
A few months ago we explained why people say "hello" when they answer the telephone. Click here to read that article.
Click here to read about the first telephone call from one end of the American continent to the other.
Click here to read about Alexander Graham Bell and another man who claimed to have invented the telephone.
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