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Ahoy! Today is National Telephone Day!

The telephone has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell patented the invention nearly a century and a half ago.  From telephone wires to cell towers, from asking an operator to connect you to asking Siri to find the best local Chinese restaurant, the telephone has dramatically impacted our daily lives.

In honor of this marvel of communication technology on National Telephone Day, we decided to take a look at some milestones in telephone history and consider why we can’t leave the house without our smartphone in our pockets.

Ahoy - National_Phone_Day_Infographic

Check out our National Telephone Day infographic for more telephone facts.

Phones! What would we do without our phones?

Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell and others, we no longer rely on carrier pigeons to relay messages across long distances. In fact, we now walk around with a computer powerful enough to access the world wide web’s data in the palm of our hand.

Here’s a brief walk through time:  

March 7, 1867 – Alexander Bell’s patent for the telephone is granted by the Washington D.C. patent office

October 9, 1867 – Alexander Bell makes the first phone call

January 28, 1878 – The first commercial telephone exchange is opened in New Haven, Connecticut

1919 – the first rotary dial telephones in the Bell System were installed in Norfolk, Virginia.

March 7, 1927 – The first transatlantic phone call was made between New York and London.

1949: A National Numbering Plan (area codes) is implemented

1961: Trials of touch tone phones begin

1983: The last manual switchboard is retired in Maine

1994: The IBM Simon becomes the first smartphone on the market

1995: Caller ID implemented nationally in the USA

2007 – Apple released the first iPhone

Besides changing the way people connect personally, phones, including mobile, have also changed the way people connect with businesses. In fact, This continued growth in phone calls is good news for businesses.

Forrester research suggests callers are the best customers. For marketers, this presents an opportunity. Understanding inbound phone traffic means you can optimize your media by channel or keyword. Plus, call data can help you can optimize your processes, call handling and responses when callers connect with your business.

If you would like to learn how Marchex helps businesses get the most value from inbound phone calls, check out our Call Analytics Solution Guide.

Want to know who’s talking about National Telephone Day on social media? See what’s happening with #NationalTelephoneDay on Twitter!