Landlines for All

The first telephone line was under construction in 1877. It connected Boston to Somerville, Massachusetts. Service to other major cities in the East coast of the United States was soon under way. In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell paid the fee to transfer 75% interest in the telephone patent for Canada to his father, Alexander Melville Bell, for the low price of $1. Licensing to operate a phone company in Canada followed.

Rival Services and Disputed Patents

Dominion Telegraph Company, tried to purchase the patent from Bell in 1880. They were unable to raise the $100,000 that Bell asked, so the patent was sold to the National Bell Telephone Company of Boston. As a result, rival companies began using the disputed patents of Elisha Gray and others, to offer telephone service in Canada.

In 1880, an Act of Parliament incorporated the Bell Telephone Company. This made it so that landlines could be constructed along public property. Rival companies made concessions and agreed to surrender their patents, allowing the BCE to move forward taking telephones to everyone.

Service Lines, Switchboards and Rotary Dialing

Before it was common to have a phone in your own home, you would use a telephone exchange to make a call. As telephones became a staple in the home, switchboards were created that allowed you to connect to another line. By 1892, exchanges were invented that used automatic telephone exchanges. You could now use a button on your phone to produce the required number of taps to connect you to the line you wanted to reach. This became known as the rotary phone.

Touch-Tone Phones and Cordless Phones

In 1941, the touch-tone phone was invented that allowed a user to dial a number using a frequency range rather than tapping to create pulses. As it goes with technology, it wasn’t long before the phone had evolved to a cordless phone. The cordless phone soon became the digital cordless phone, which increased security and made eavesdropping more difficult.