Most of us no longer follow the hype surrounding the release of the next iPhone. Upgrades to smartphone cameras are no big deal and smartphone owners consider perfect cell phone reception a right. But few smartphone owners are familiar with the fascinating history of the telephone cable that led to groundbreaking advancements in telecommunications and the invention of the smartphone.
The First Telephone Line
Imagine being the only one on your block with phone reception. Back in 1877, this was true for Charles Williams Jr. in Somerville, MA. His home in Massachusetts had a telephone line that connected to his Boston office. Unfortunately, that meant he could only dial one phone number.
The first telephone lines were single grounded wires made of iron or steel and placed on telephone poles or attached to racks on rooftops. The lines were noisy and had issues with corrosion.
In 1877, Thomas Doolittle developed hard drawn copper wire that was strong enough for overhead wires. Hard drawn copper wire became the industry standard was used to set up a telephone line between New York and Philadelphia.
Clearing up the Connection
Alexander Graham Bell developed and patented the metallic circuit in 1881, helping to reduce electrical disturbances and noise. Telephone lines were converted from grounded to metallic circuit lines between 1890 and 1900, despite the significant physical and financial challenges of doing so.
Advancements in insulation and waterproofing led to the use of cotton, cotton impregnated with paraffin, gutta percha, and lead. Conducting wires were wrapped in lead and tin foil to eliminate electromagnetic lines. Unfortunately, these telephone wires still had issues with poor voice transmission, unrecognizable voices, and muffled and hollow sounds. However, improvements in transmitters, receivers, coils and switchboard coils led to further advancements in the quality of telecommunication.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the telephone became more affordable for the general public and was considered a necessity, rather than a novelty. Advancements in telecommunication have led to the invention of the Internet and modern data and security services. Homeowners today rely on telephone cabling for Internet service, landline telephone service and home entertainment systems.
If you’ve recently moved, or are having issues with telephone service at your home, reach out to Blue Apple Electric for quick and professional service.