Telephone History Series
by Tom Farley
On March 10, 1876, in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexander Graham Bell invented
the telephone. Thomas Watson fashioned the device itself; a crude thing made of
a wooden stand, a funnel, a cup of acid, and some copper wire. But these simple
parts and the equally simple first telephone call -- "Mr. Watson, come here, I
want you!" -- belie a complicated past. Bell filed his application just hours
before his competitor, Elisha Gray, filed notice to soon patent a telephone
himself. What's more, though neither man had actually built a working telephone,
Bell made his telephone operate three weeks later using ideas outlined in Gray's
Notice of Invention, methods Bell did not propose in his own patent.
History of Phone Cards
Prepaid phone cards were invented in Europe in the mid Seventies. Calling
cards took another 11 years to reach the US. Since then the calling card and
phone card industry has grown exponentially worldwide. Today, phonecards are
sold in over 185 countries across the world.
Calling Card Types
A calling card or phone card is defined as telecommunication credit card with
an Identification Code for using a pre-selected long distance carrier when the
customer is away from their home or office. Phone cards are now being used
extensively for residential calls. Phone cards are often considerably cheaper
than collect calling, coin operated payphones or having the phone call charged
to your hotel or motel room.
Collecting Phone Cards
cards, calling cards or, as they are often called, telecards
is America's fastest growing hobby after collecting Pokemon cards. Although
phonecards as a consumer commodity are only about 25 years old they come in a
multiplicity of forms and like stamp collecting they are printable. The very fact
that a phone card can have anything printed on it makes it collectable. Add to
this the fact that cards are mostly printed in limited runs. This results in
scarcities of each card as there are a finite number of that particular run.
Prepaid Phone Cards
A prepaid phone card
or calling card is exactly what the name implies. You
pay a fixed amount up front which may be for units, minutes or in your national
currency. Typically the time based phone cards come in increments of 100, 300,
600, or 1000 minutes. Dollar based phone cards start at $5 and go up to around
$300. When you make a call, the total cost of the call (which is often made up
of several components) is accumulated and the remaining value on the card is
reduced by the cost of the call.
Mobile Telephone History
Digital wireless and cellular roots go back to the 1940s when commercial mobile
telephony began. Compared with the furious pace of development today, it may
seem odd that mobile wireless hasn't progressed further in the last 60 years.
Where's my real time video watch phone? There were many reasons for this delay
but the most important ones were technology, cautiousness, and federal