The Telephone, The Device That Changed The Way We Communicate

1423 words - 6 pages

The Telephone, the Device that Changed the Way We Communicate

The Telephone, the Device that Changed the Way We Communicate

Voice communication is the most commonly used way of expressing our wants, needs and thoughts. The telephone changed the way we communicate. It has been allowing people to talk in almost real time without seeing each other since its development in 1876. Until then, mail and the telegraph was the normal and only means to talk across the country. Although it was effective, those methods were all silent. Now with the telephone, you could truly convey your feelings to someone in a personal way. The other end could hear the happiness, the sadness, or the anger ...view middle of the document...

“Serious businessmen did not want to invest in a “useless toy” (Novitskaya, 2004).
In order to change public opinion and ensure that it could be practical, a paper was written comparing the telephone to the telegraph, which at the time was the fastest way for long haul communication. Bell hit on the flaws of the telegraph system and enhanced on the fact that the telephone was more user friendly option. The telephone displays grew and there were setup in businesses free of charge to show how convenient it could be. As the acceptance grew, the invention would face a new set of challenges.
The one problem was the original design “both hands were busy”. At first, it was not considered as a serious disadvantage at those times because the novelty had not yet worn off, “the first telephone calls were so exciting that the process was self-sufficient”(Novitskaya, 2004). Despite the opposition, the invention of the phone led to the formation of the Bell Telephone Company in July 1877, which became the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, better known as AT&T. “What was being created was the country's biggest corporation and the largest, most complex machine ever devised: a nationwide telephone network.” (Telephone, 2010).
The company grew rapidly. It started from the first switch board and telephone directory with about fifty names in Connecticut to spending over the United States in a few months. Like the device itself, it had some challenges and it set new trends and standards. It was trying to compete with the Western Union and the telegraph and it also had little capital and no workforce. The telephone company first hired boys to handle the patching of the calls, but decided to use women because they were cheaper and more reliable. They battled the telegraph by keeping the prices low. As the use of the phone systems grew, more people realized the convenience the phone became an essential necessity for business. The use of telephones did not happen as fast because the infrastructure to establish residential telephones didn’t exist, and it was still not fully accepted.
Many people were skeptical of the effects of the telephone for years after the telephone was invented. In 1926 questions such as “Does the telephone make men more active or lazy?” or “Does the telephone break up home life and the old practice of visiting friends?” (Fischer, p.1). Once again, the company used the same techniques that the founders used in the past and started educating the public to dispel the skeptics. They showed how useful the device could be. It ranged from use of the phone for emergencies, to keep in contact with friends and families and also for shopping or to take care of personal business. Slogans like “reach out and touch someone” and “let your fingers do the walking” (Fischer, pp. 83-84). The marketing campaigns were successful and the phone survived to what we have today.
The telephone has gone through major transformation. ...

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