Fun Telephone Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

  • Last Updated: 06 Feb 24
  • 9 min read
telephone facts you probably didn't know

Did you know your phone’s history is richer than anyone you know? Follow along and learn about the mind-blowing facts about telephones.

From its earliest days to the advanced smartphones we carry today, the telephone has come a long way, and along the journey, it has been incredible.

In the article, we’ll talk about “Fun Telephone Facts You Probably Didn’t Know,” which might even surprise you.

So, let’s uncover the unexpected stories and funny findings that can also be that are associated with the devices that we take so much for granted. 

Starting with the first “Merry Christmas” text to strange mobile phones and amazing collaborations, stay with us as we take you through the rich history and facts about telephones and cell phones. 🕵️‍♂️🔍

13 Fun Facts About the Telephone You Probably Didn’t Know in 2024

Fact No. 1: The first phone greeting was “Ahoy!” 

This is probably one of the crazy telephone facts, Alexander Graham Bell used the telephone and said the word “Ahoy!” as a possible greeting. It was commonly used on ships. Later, “Hello” became our common greeting when picking up the phone. Thomas Edison popularized it and is still stuck today.

Fact No. 2: The first pay phone appeared in the 1800s 

The first payphone was installed in 1889 in Hartford, Connecticut when inventor Willian Gray was frustrated and had to beg for a phone to call a doctor when his wife was ill.

the first pay phone appeared in the 1800s

That was when he invented the first coin-operated public telephone and installed the first payphone in a Hartford bank. Allowing users to make a call for a fee led to a significant development in the public. Even today, there are about 100,000 payphones left.

Fact No. 3: Bell’s didn’t invent it first

When someone talks about the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell may be the name that comes to mind, but he wasn’t the one who invented them first.

Antonio Meucci is credited with creating a prototype of the telephone with his “teletrofono,” which was first tested in New York in 1860, almost 17 years before Bell’s invention. But as of 2002, Meucci was voted by U.S Congress to recognize as the actual inventor of the telephone. 

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Fact No. 4: The first text was “Merry Christmas.” 

Facts about telephone communications: Having been working as a developer and test engineer, Neil Papworth sent the very first text messages to his colleague Richard Jarvis, which simply said “Merry Christmas” on 3rd  December 1992, marking the beginning of the text messaging era. Where one year later, Nokia introduced an SMS feature with a “Beep” signal for incoming messages.

Fact No. 5: The total hours spent on the phone is 3.8 Trillion Hours worldwide 

With the widespread use of smartphones and constant connectivity, $170 billion consumers spend their time on apps, whether it be in gaming or other areas.

The most used mobile apps are TikTok, YouTube, and so on. In 2021, global smartphone users spent a record 3.8 trillion hours on their smartphones, which is an average of 5 hours a day per user.

Fact No. 6: The first Telephone call was made in 1876

the first telephone call was made in 1876

Do you know the facts about the first telephone? On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made history by making calls, successfully conducting the first telephone call to his assistant, Thomas Watson, with the famous words, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” even though it was his great success he refused to have a telephone in his own house because he invented it by mistake and saw it as a distraction from his studies.

Fact No. 7: The first Cellular Call was made in 1973 

Here’s a telephone operator’s facts: Martin Cooper, an engineer at Motorola, made the first handheld mobile phone call on the streets of New York on April 3, 1973, using a prototype of the Motorola DynaTAC, marking a milestone in the first mobile phone communication.

Fact No. 8: Around 13.5 Billion calls and 21 Billion texts are made every day

It was the first mobile phone, a brick-sized device that weighed about 2.5 lbs and was available to the general public.

around 15 billion calls and 21 billion txt

Across the world, the volume of communication is enormous, with approximately 13.5 billion phone calls every day, which is equivalent to 4.9 trillion phone calls every year.

Every second, we make 156 thousand phone calls across the entire globe and 23 billion text messages are exchanged globally each day, highlighting the immense reliance on telecommunications to communicate.

Fact No. 9: Marian Croak is the Founder of VoIP 

Marian Croak, a prominent engineer, works at AT&T at Bell Labs, where she developed and conceptualized a technology called VOIP phone system, a technology that enables voice communication over the Internet. VocalTec is a company that created VoIP in the 90s. 

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Fact No. 10: Telephone was influenced by Deaf People 

Do you know that Alexander Graham Bell, both his mother and wife, was deaf? which motivated him to explore ways to enhance spoken communication.

So his careful study led him to invent the telephone, where he was fascinated by Samuel Morse’s telegraph and demonstrated a “harmonic telegraph,” which was an early telephone at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.

Fact No. 11: There’s more gold in a ton of Mobile phones than in a ton of Gold mine ore 

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Look at the phone’s cool fact: On average, there are around 0.034 grams of gold in your smartphone. According to the World Economic Forum, there is about 100 times more gold in a ton of mobile phones than in a ton of gold ore and rare earth elements like lithium and others. It’s used for better conductivity and resistance to damage.

Fact No. 12: There are more Mobile phones than People on Earth 

The widespread use of mobile phones stood at almost 15 billion, up from just 14 billion in the previous year. Now, the number of mobile devices surpasses the global population, emphasizing their essential role in modern society, which is expected to reach 18.22 billion in 2025.

Fact No. 13: The longest-distance telephone call in history was made to the Moon

A historic moment occurred during the Apollo XI mission on 20th July 1969 when President Nixon made the longest-distance telephone call to astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin to the Moon to congratulate them. It is an interesting face in a telephone facts history that he called through telephone radio transmission as they walked on the moon.

Fact No. 14: The First telephone directory was issued on  February 21, 1878 

On this date 21 Feb 1878, The first telephone directory with a single piece of cardboard was published in New Haven, Connecticut, containing a list of 50 subscribers, which included businesses, individuals, and other offices. Making telephone directories organized and accessible for the first time.

Fact No. 15: 69% of people believe phone calls lead to better personal relationships at work

Many people prefer to work remotely or hybrid, so the phone is a key tool for fostering their connections and overall productivity. So, 69% of workers say that communication on the phone has led to better personal relationships at work. 

Fact No. 16: 80% of Americans don’t answer calls from unknown numbers

The majority of Americans’ general practice is not to answer the phone if it is from an unknown number; instead, they check a voicemail.

One of the factors that influence this behavior can be scams, where 49% pretend to be someone else in trying to steal their identity or other sensitive personal information. However, people between the ages of 18 and younger adults under 29 are more likely to answer unknown calls.

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Conclusion

Going through the rich history of telephones is fun, isn’t it? Well, there is still a lot  to learn about the telephones as they are just getting better. What we know today about them will be a history  in few years. From “ahoy!” almost being the default greetings to virtual audio, video calls we have come a long way. 

Keep in mind the next time you pick up your cell phone and call someone, you are not just connecting to someone else, but you’re exploring an innovation that has been refined over the years again and again. 

Arun Chaudhary

Arun is SEO Analyst at KrispCall. He has written in extensively in the field of cloud telephony and call center solutions.

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