1876 – Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone

It is arguably one of the most transformative inventions of all time: the telephone is on a par with the wheel or the taming of fire in terms of its effect on our society.

It all starts here. Alexander Graham Bell had been wroking on the telephone for three years already at this point, and he was not the only one. Indeed, his closest rival, Elisha Gray, filed for his patent on the same day Bell did (February 26). But it was Bell who got the patent, and who went on to make millions from it.

The famous first successful phone call actually took place 3 days later, on March 10, and Bell never looked back. Which is in some ways unfortunate, as his belief in eugenics would not have been nearly so influential had he not been so rich.

Still, he transformed everything – you wouldn’t be reading this today, on a computer or a mobile phone, without him.

Referenced in:

Alexander Graham Bell — Sweet
Alexander Graham Bell — Richard Thompson