Wednesday 10 August 2011

The First Long Distance Call

On August 10, 1876, on the shores of the Grand River just south of Brantford in a two storey white farmhouse with green shutters, a man spoke into a primitive instrument to his assistant in the nearby town of Paris, Ontario.  The assistant's response was transmitted successfully through the instrument, marking the world's first long distance phone call.  Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland.  The damp climate made tuberculosis rampant and both of his brothers succumbed to the disease.  His parents packed up their things and moved to Canada with young Aleck, settling just outside of Brantford.  Alexander was always working to find an instrument to help his mother who was hard of hearing.  This was how he came to conceive the idea for the telephone at the family home.  The first telephone call was made in March of 1876, the famous exchange where he says "Mr. Watson -- come here -- I want to see you!" Then, it was time to make the first long distance call, which took place five months later, right here in Brantford.  Although Bell is credited with 18 patents, including one for the metal detector and for a hydroplane, he is still best known for his invention, the telephone.  And it all happened in the little city of Brantford.

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