The Power of Innovation

135 years ago.

The first telephone conversation:

“Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.” With these words, spoken by inventor Alexander Graham Bell into his experimental telephone on March 10, 1876, an industry was born. For down the hall, Bell’s assistant, Thomas Watson, distinctly heard Bell utter the first spoken sentence ever transmitted via electricity. That achievement was the culmination of an invention process Bell had begun at least four years earlier.

By 1892 AT&T completed a network between New York and Chicago.  The downside?

The circuit could handle only one call at a time. The price was $9 for the first five minutes.

How far have we come?


Just tonight I noticed a new feature on my G-MAIL account:

From my PC, I can now type a phone number and place a phone call to any domestic number.  The cost?

$0.00 for the first 5 minutes.

By the way, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator only goes back to 1913.  But even so, a $9 phone bill in 1913 is the same as a $198.19 phone bill today!

Capitalism.  Gotta love it.

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