Friday, October 3, 2014

Phones, Then and Npw

Long ago Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone because he was trying to find a way for his deaf wife to communicate. When telephones became available for the public they were fastened to the wall. Lots of Victorian houses and flats have what was called a telephone bench in the hallway so people could sit there and chat. Hallways were the best place for telephones because they were in the center of the home and the bell could be heard from every room.

When I was a little kid we lived in urban areas and had dial phones, The phone  numbers had a word  indicating two letters to be dialed, followed by five numerals. Everyone 'knew' it was impossible for most people to remember more than five numbers at a time.

Then,for a while we lived in a small town and had an older phone network. We'd pick up the receiver, a voice would say, "operator," and we'd tell her the number we wished to call. In that community the word was followed by only four numerals.

Today we remember all sorts of long numbers and phone numbers include area codes, etc. so they're usually about 8 numerals long and we remember lots of phone numbers. But if we forget, automatic dialing of numbers we've saved solves that problem.

And, today,  e-phones that allow texting and video apps that can show someone using Sign Language make it easy for Deaf people to communicate. Alexander Graham Bell did succeed, but not at all as he imagined.

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