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The evolution of telephones

From Alexander Graham Bell's liquid transmitter to smartphones, this CBS News photo gallery shows the evolution of telephones.
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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Alexander Graham Bell spoke the words "Mr. Watson, come here. I want you," into a phone similar to this one.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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2 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

This 1879 top box wall set was made with mahogany wood and Viaduct Manufacturing Co. hardware.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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3 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Gower-Bell telephone was the first type of phone that was used in countries like Spain, Japan and England.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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4 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Not much is known about the manufacturer of this unique wooden cradle desk telephone dated around 1885.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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5 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Western Electric folding cabinet was used in hotels, telephone booths and private homes.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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6 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange Company's 10 digit automatic wall telephone was the first to use an automatic rotary motion dialer.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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7 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Made by the Stromberg-Carlson Telephone Mfg. Co., these types of upright desk sets were nicknamed "oil cans" by antique telephone collectors because of its unique shape.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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8 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Hardwood Telephone Cabinet Mfg. Co. The telephone hardware was made by Kellogg Hardware.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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9 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

This upright desk set made by the Chicago Telephone Supply Company is often called "potbelly" because of its curvy shape."

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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10 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Legend has it that Almon Brown Strowger was a mortician that believed his local operator was directing all business calls to his competitor, who happened to be her husband. Strowger felt that subscribers should have control over calls rather than operators. He patented the automatic telephone exchange a.k.a. dial service in 1891, eliminating the need for an operator to direct calls.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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11 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

These S.H. Couch Company desk sets were typically used to interoffice communications.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

 
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12 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Magnavox anti-noise desk set is an early example of noise-cancellation technology. The phone began to make gain popularity in the military in the 1920s.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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13 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

This sleek desk top was made by the De Veau Telephone Manufacturing Company.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Cyber Telephone Museum/Ron Christianson

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14 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Frankfurt "Bauhaus" Telephone was made by the Fuld & Co. in Frankfurt, Germany.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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15 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

This rotary phone was made by the Hungarian Telephone Factory in Budapest, Hungary.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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A typical 1940s rotary phone.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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A typical 1950s rotary phone.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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A common phone in the 1960s through 1980s.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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An example of a videophone in the 1960s.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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One of the first videophones by AT&T.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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These princess phones were popular from the 1970s through the 1980s.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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22 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

A typical Dutch phone in 1975.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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23 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

This is how mobile phones looked in the 1980s. It was backbreaking work to to utter the words "can you hear me now?"

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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24 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Behold the first commercial line of mobile phones launched in 1983.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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25 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

If you were a teenager in the 1980s, this touch-tone was your best friend.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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A typical table-top phone in the 1980s.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Only really important people and early adopters had one of these cell phones.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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typical cordless phone in the 1990s.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The first GSM phones were not sleek or sexy.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The IBM Simon is widely considered the first smart phone.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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he flip phone craze started with this Motorola cell phone.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Nokia dominated the wireless market with cell phones like this one.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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33 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Available in Japan, the Sharp J-SH04 was the first camera phone.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The first introduction to the "CrackBerry."

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: RIM

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The first BlackBerry with a color screen.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: RIM

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36 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Palm Treo was an addictive PDA and phone combination.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Palm

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37 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Flip phones were at their peak when the Motorola Razr v3 hit the market.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Motorola

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38 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The smartphone that arguably changed our lives forever. The iPhone's operating system allowed users to browse full webpages, triangulate positioning with Google maps and easily download apps.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Apple

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39 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The highly anticipated Storm was the first BlackBerry with a touchscreen.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: RIM

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40 of 40 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The T-Mobile G1, also known as the HTC Dream, was the first mobile phone to use Google's Android operating system.

Author: Chenda Ngak

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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