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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Alexander Graham Bell makes the first telephone call from New York to Chicago in 1892. Bell invented the telephone 16 years earlier, and received a patent for it on March 7, 1876. The first month Bell Telephone Company existed, it sold only 7 telephones.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    A French officer of the Allied Armistice Commission uses the telephone at the Kaiser's former headquarters in Spa, Belgium, at the end of World War I, 1918. During World War I, telephone use was so common phone lines were strung along the trenches of battle so troops could communicate with each other without cumbersome and unreliable radios.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    American acting siblings Alice, left, and Marceline Day standing in their dressing gowns by a telephone, demonstrating what happens when the studio puts in a 9 a.m. call for work, circa 1923. Before dial systems were put into place, customers depended on operators to put all telephone calls through - and the operators could listen in on all calls!
    Margaret Chute/Getty Images
  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    A telephone exchange operator works a network of long distance telephone calls, Detroit, Michigan, 1949. After the dial system was developed, operators were still needed to connect long-distance phone calls. Switchboard operators would connect calls by inserting a pair of phone plugs into appropriate jacks.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Parents receive a phone call from their two sons, both in the armed forces and unable to come home, wishing them a Merry Christmas in 1945. Newspaper ads during World War Two advised citizens to limit long-distance calls in the evening so overseas troops would have a free line to call home.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Men of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, telephoning their loved ones after being told to prepare for duty in the Suez Canal Zone on Jan. 1, 1956. Telephone booths were once common, giving any citizen access to a phone and some privacy from the streets.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    A police inspector calls for help using a telephone in the street circa 1930. The first public telephones were not widely used as people were reluctant to have private conversations on the street.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    A teenage girl lies on her stomach on a twin bed and talks on the telephone, circa 1945. After World War Two, telephones became a necessity instead of a luxury, with 50% of American households having a telephone in 1945, rising to 70% in 1955.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Three sailors making telephone calls from the USA's southernmost row of telephone booths on Duval Street in Key West, Fla., circa 1955. By 1960, the Bell System installed its 1 millionth payphone.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Picture Post April Personality Girl Jacky Rose is seen in the newsroom of the public relations office where she works on April 17, 1954. Before call waiting became possible in the early 1970s, multiple phones were common in offices.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    A cat sprawls on the telephone directory with a receiver in its paws, circa 1960. Rotary phones were being replaced by the more familiar push-button telephones in the 1960s after Bell System introduced Touch-Tone dialing in 1963.
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  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Bob Maxwell, general manager of Englewood-based Mobile Telephone of Colorado, places a call on FCC-approved radio frequency while driving to work on Sept. 16, 1983. Car phones were first invented by Bell System in 1946..
    The Denver Post/Getty Images
  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Senator Al Gore is seen on Feb. 16, 1988 in Houston, concentrating on "Super Tuesday" and using a cellular phone to call New Hampshire on the day of that state's primary between live television interviews. The Motorola DynaTAC was the first cell phone offered commercially for about $4000 in 1983.
    Corbis
  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Thai models display the new Samsung D410 slide-up camera mobile phone during its launch in Bangkok, July 21, 2004. The D410 was one of the first mobile phones with the slide design. Reviewers were wowed by the animations on the phone that displayed in 176x220 resolution.
    Pornchai Kittiwongskaul/Getty Images
  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Inside the T-Mobile Sidekick II City in Los Angeles, Calif. on Oct. 18, 2005. In 2005 T-Mobile offered a limited-edition Juicy Couture version of the Sidekick to customers.
    L. Cohen/Getty Images
  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new iPhone that was introduced at Macworld on January 9, 2007 in San Francisco, California. The multi-touch interface that was first introduced with the iPhone became the industry standard.
    David Paul Morris/Getty Images
  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Two commuters use mobile phones on a railway platform in front of public housing apartments in Hong Kong on April 6, 2011. China remains the world's largest market for smartphones, shipping an estimated 301.2 million phones in 2013 according to a recent International Data Corp forecast.
    Antony Dickson/AFP/Getty Images
  • Throwback: Telephones Then and Now

    Bridget Moran, Kellie Decker and Aysha Kayani raise their mobile phones during Ed Sheeran's performance at the Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball 2012, presented by Charleston Alexander Diamond Importers, at The Patriot Center on December 11, 2012 in Washington, D.C. According to ABIResearch, 1.2 billion smartphones will enter the market over the next 5 years.
    Kyle Gustafson/The Washington Post/Getty Images
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