The first words spoken on the telephone were, “Mr. Watson, come here.”

  • Telephone circa 1876
Telephone circa 1876
Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images

The first phone call ever made was short, simple, and to the point. On March 10, 1876, the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, uttered the first message ever transmitted over the phone: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” Bell’s history-making call was to his assistant, the mechanic Thomas Watson, and it wasn’t exactly long-distance; Watson was sitting by a receiver just a few rooms away. But when Watson came into the room and informed Bell that he had heard each word clearly and distinctly, it proved to both men that this groundbreaking new technology was a success.

The power of his innovation was immediately apparent to Bell. In a letter to his father recounting the event, the inventor predicted that “the day is coming when telegraph wires will be laid on to houses just like water or gas — and friends converse with each other without leaving home.” Bell’s vision, of course, proved remarkably prescient. His short phone call to Watson marked the beginning of a technology that quickly transformed the world. Though that first phone call was between two people in the same house, the telephone soon allowed people to speak to each other from separate homes, separate cities, and, by 1927, separate continents.

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