Telecommunications

Telephones Get a Push

A push-button TouchTone phone from 1963. Note the * and # keys are not included, as they were not introduced until 1968.

A push-button TouchTone phone from 1963. Note the missing * and # keys. They were not introduced until 1968.

November 18, 1963

Bell Telephone offers the first electronic push-button telephones to customers in Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) technology (Touch-Tone) was also introduced on the same day in order to accommodate the new push-button telephones.

First Underwater Telegraph Cable

JohnWBrett-i_sNovember 13, 1851

Laid by British telegraphic engineer John Watkins Brett and his brother Jacob Brett, the world’s first operational underwater telegraph cable opens for business. Connecting the English city of Dover to the French city of Calais, the cable was ran at the narrowest point of the English channel. With this link, communication between London and Paris was made possible.

Android Introduced

Android LogoNovember 5, 2007

Google introduces the Android platform, its mobile operating system for cell phones based on a modified version of the Linux operating system. The first Android-based phone would ship in September of 2008.

Pony Express Goes Bye-Bye

Last Ride of the Pony ExpressOctober 26, 1861

Only two days after the Transcontinental Telegraph line opened, the Pony Express ceases operation. Prior to the opening of the cross-country telegraph line, the Pony Express was the fastest way to send communication between St. Jospeph, Missouri and San Franscisco, California.

First Transcontinental Telegraph Line

First Transcontinental Telegraph LineOctober 24, 1861

Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States, making nearly instantaneous cross-country communication possible for the first time. Previously, it took ten days for a letter to be sent from Missouri to California via the Pony Express. Not coincidentally, two days later the Pony Express shut down operations.

First Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph Service

October 17, 1907

Guglielmo Marconi officially opens the first commercial transatlantic wireless telegraph service, which runs between Nova Scotia and Ireland.

Cellular Goes Live in US

First Cellular Network Launches in USOctober 13, 1983

Ameritech Mobile Communications executive Bob Barnett makes a phone call from a car parked near Soldier Field in Chicago, officially launching the first cellular network in the United States.

First Phone Call Over Outdoor Wires

First Long Distance CallOctober 9, 1876

Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson demonstrate the first two-way phone call over outdoor wires. Bell and Watson made their call between the cities of Boston and Cambridge.

CompuServe Launches MicroNET

CompuServe and MicroNETSeptember 24, 1979

CompuServe launches the first consumer-oriented online information service, which they called MicroNET. This marked the first time a consumer had access to services such as e-mail. The service was not favored internally within the business-oriented CompuServe, but as the service became a hit, they renamed the service CompuServe Information Service, or CIS. By the mid-1980’s CompuServe was the largest consumer information service in the world and half their revenue came from CIS. In 1989 CompuServe connected its proprietary e-mail system to the Internet e-mail system, making it one of the first commercial Internet services. However, CompuServe did not compete well with America On-Line or independent Internet Service Providers in the 1990’s and lost its dominant market position.

The First Android Introduced

T-Mobile G1September 23, 2008

Google and T-Mobile introduce the T-Mobile G1 (also known as the HTC Dream), the world’s first Android-based smartphone. By raw sales numbers, today Android is the world’s most popular smartphone platform.