Real Science and Other Adventures

Only as far away as a phone call – then and now

How many ways can you talk to someone far away? Besides making a phone call there’s Skype, google hangouts, LINE, WeChat, and more. And many of these cost nothing if you have the device to do it from and some internet.

It wasn’t always so easy.

In the early 1970s my parents lived in Australia and my grandmother lived in New Zealand. Some years we would phone her on Christmas day. Making an overseas phone call was a Big Event.

During busy periods like Christmas day you would have to phone someone at the telephone company called an operator and book a time for the phone call. When the time came the operator would connect you with the other person.

When we phoned my grandmother we each took a turn to talk but we had to be quick because overseas calls were expensive!

Of course, without science knowledge, ideas and people working hard to turn ideas into inventions we might still rely on letters to talk to our friends and family far away. Perhaps we’d even have to wait for them to arrive by boat still.

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Dial-up telephones like these were common in the 1970s. Image: Atarom assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

NOTES:

International Direct Dialling was introduced to Australia in 1976. (About Telstra, http://www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/company-overview/history/tele-communications-timeline/)

Alexander Graham Bell is the best known inventor of the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell Facts: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/scientists/alexandergrahambell.html

But other people did play a part in inventing the telephone – this website gives a brief history: http://www.kidsfront.com/telephone.html

This website takes you through the evolution of the telephone into the 21st century: http://bgr.com/2013/12/13/telephone-timeline-a-brief-history-of-the-phone/

And finally, this song from 1973:

 

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This entry was posted on December 26, 2015 by in Inventions and tagged , , , , .
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