Today in Technology History

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October 9

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)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.

Thomas Augustus Watson (1854-1934)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 Bell's and Watson's transcripts of their historic conversation.

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