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1870sBell's first telephone

Bell's First Telephone

Mr. Watson, come here.

The first telephone call ever placed was recorded on March 10, 1876. Alexander Graham Bell called his assistant, Mr. Thomas Watson, and said those famous first words. Although credit for the invention is much disputed, Bell’s telephone patent has been called the most valuable patent ever issued.

1870sswitchboard

Telephone Switchboard

Switchboard Sally, not Stan.

Did you know that the first switchboard operators were boys? At first, it seemed like a good idea. They were so good at telegraphy that it would be a natural transition. But their lack of patience and “colorful” language proved to be unacceptable for live phone contact. It wasn’t long before women were hired.

1890S

Crank phone

I can’t hear you. What’d you say? Crank it up!

Hand crank phones were the first consumer telephones, which worked by electrical generators that used magnets to create electric current. Turning the crank rotated the “magneto,” causing a bell to ring that would alert the operator or another party on the line that an individual wanted to make a call.

Candlestick phone

Candlestick Phone

Alexander Bell, in the lab, with the candlestick.

The candlestick phone was more streamlined, and certainly way better looking than those bulky wooden hand-crank wall phones. In the early 1900s, many companies produced beautiful candlestick phones. Problem was, non-Bell Telephones didn’t work with the Bell System. And that spelled failure. Whoops!

Cradle phone

Cradle phone

Did you just say sawed-off telephone?

Did you know that the first cradle phone was actually a sawed-off candlestick phone that was fitted with a cradle and receiver handset? Clever! Following that ingenious design choice by Bell, candlestick phones (also known as upright, desk stand, or stick phones) were out, and desktop cradle phones were in!

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1960s

Touchtone Telephone

Square touchtone

Play ringtone
Touchtone Telephone

Oval touchtone

Play ringtone

1970s

Wall Touchtone Telephone

Wall touchtone

Play ringtone
Trimline Telephone

Trimline phone

Play ringtone

1980s

Cordless Telephone

Cordless phone

Play ringtone
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Motorola DynaTAC 8000X

Motorola DynaTAC 8000X

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Motorola MicroTAC 9800X

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Motorola International 3200

Nokia 1011

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BellSouth-IBM Simon Personal Communicator

BellSouth-IBM Simon Personal Communicator

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Motorola D160

Motorola D160

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Motorola Montreal

Motorola Montreal

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Nokia 8890 15 million sold

Nokia 8890

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Siemens M35i 15 million sold

Siemens M35i

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Siemens M30 15 million sold

Siemens M30

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Nokia 1110 250 million sold

Other Nokia Models

Nokia N70 45 million sold

Nokia N70

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NokiaTop selling Nokia Model

Nokia 1600 130 million sold

Other Nokia Models

Nokia 1650 130 million sold

Nokia 1650

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Nokia 1661 130 million sold

MotorolaTop selling Motorola Model

Motorola PEBL U6 15 million sold

Motorola PEBL U6

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2006

SamsungTop selling Samsung Model

Samsung SGH-E250 30 million sold

Samsung SGH-E250

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2007

NokiaTop selling Nokia Model

Nokia 1680 30 million sold

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Nokia 2330 15 million sold

Nokia 2330

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2008

NokiaTop selling Nokia Model

Nokia 2700 Classic 20 million sold

Nokia 2700 Classic

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Nokia 6303 15 million sold

Nokia 6303

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2009

NokiaTop selling Nokia Model

Other Nokia Models

Nokia N8 15 million sold

2010

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2005

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2006

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2008

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2009

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2010

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2011

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2012

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2013

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