The telephone (from the Greek wors tele (τηλέ) = far and phone (φωνή) = voice) is a telecommunications device that is used to transmit and receive sound (most commonly speech), usually two people conversing but occasionally three or more. It is one of the most common household appliances in the world today. Most telephones operate through transmission of electric signals over a complex telephone network which allows almost any phone user to communicate with almost anyone.

Trivia about telephone

  • Prior to 1929, when he got a private one, the president had to use a booth adjoining the Oval Office
  • Wipe this Bell invention with a paper towel soaked in alcohol, perhaps while you're on hold
  • To use this common household device, remove the handset from the cradle
  • Herbert Hoover in 1929 was the first president to have one of these on his desk, not in a booth outside his office
  • An 1876 Western Union internal memo said this device has "many shortcomings" & "is inherently of no value to us"
  • Ding-a-ling! It's your dog and bone
  • In a comic opera by Menotti, Lucy is addicted to talking on this invention--does that ring a "bell"?
  • In 1889, 13 years after the invention of this, William Gray installed the first pay one
  • The first touch-tone one of these was placed in service in 1963
  • According to the Italian version of Encarta, Antonio Meucci rang in first with this invention, 5 years before that Scot
  • On March 18, 1891, this mode of communication was inaugurated between London & Paris
  • "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you"
  • In 1900 only about 1 U.S. home in 13 had this device granted patent No. 174,465 24 years earlier
  • Elisha Gray was involved in a legal battle with Alexander Graham Bell over the invention of this device
  • On Feb. 14, 1876 Elisha Gray attempted to file a patent for this invention; however, Bell beat him by hours
  • Edison's 1876 carbon transmitter was invented to improve this device
  • Probably the first emergency use of this device was on January 15, 1878 to alert doctors to a train wreck
  • Henry Dreyfuss' "300" of 1937 was one of these with the mouthpiece and earpiece in a single bakelite shell
  • The leading cause of indoor lightning injuries involves the use of this everyday device
  • The first of these was installed in 1879 for Rutherford B. Hayes; his number was 1
  • In 1877 Sarah got the first one of these ever hooked up in Nashville
  • In 2002 Congress recognized Antonio Meucci as the inventor of this in 1860, 16 years before a certain Scotsman