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This Day in History, 1876

Today is the 130th anniversary of the telephone. On this day in 1876, in his Boston home, Alexander Graham Bell called for his assistant over a primitive telephone by saying, "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you."

Since March 10, 1876, the telephone and communication technology has changed dramatically. We've gone from requiring operators to make calls...to party lines...to an American telephone monopoly called AT&T...to the invention of touch tone...to the forced breakup of the AT&T monopoly...to cell phones..to ring tones being a multibillion dollar industry...to Wi-Fi...to the death of the telegram......to AT&T purchasing Bell South...

One wonders what Bell would have thought of all of it.


Just to be a bit perverse, I'll bring up Antonio Meucci.
I would have brought up Elisha Gray, myself.
Meucci came before Gray, as did Johann Reis and the theories of Charles Bourseul.
Now you're just being annoying. :-)
Why should I only annoy the people who have the privilege of sitting next to me at work?
"Mr. Watson, come here; I want you."

Which a friend of mine turned into the title of a Holmes/Watson piece of Victorian-style slash ;)

Are you nuts? Bell was the original Whitacre.

Given the aggressiveness with which Bell enforced his patent and built a company around it which ultimately became American Telephone and Telegraph, I think he'd be annoyed at cable.

People in the siences usually wax all eloquent about folks like Marconi, Bell, Morse, and Edison. The fact is they were as money grubbing and obnoxious about it as the Bill Gateses and Steve Jobses of the world today. I wonder if 100 years from now, Bill Gates will be almost universally hailed as "the man who brought computers to the people" and all that nasty anticompetitive stuff glossed over and forgotten.

Re: Are you nuts? Bell was the original Whitacre.

Um, am I nuts? I just wondered what Bell would have thought of all the history that has developed since his invention. I mean, having heard once that he wanted the phone to burp instead of ring, and that he thought people should answer it saying "Ahoy!," I am curious to know what he would have made of things like ringtones.

So why are you asking me if I'm nuts? What did I imply in my post about my knowledge and beliefs of Bell's personal views on his invention? Having just recently finished "The Victorian Internet" about the history of the telegraph, I know that these inventors were all very money-grubbing. What did I say in my post that implied that I didn't? And who is Whitacre? Please elucidate.

December 2016

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