On March 10th, 135 years ago, Mr. Bell placed the first telephone call. He rang his assistant and said: “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.” Not quite “One small step for man one giant leap for mankind,” but completely practical. What would you have said? I wonder what Mr. Bell would think of our iPhones and Blackberries, amazing or complete excess?
March 10, 2011
Dear Mr. Bell
If I had to list my most favorite inventions, the telephone would definitely be in the top ten. If my thirteen-year-old self was making the list, your genius would be number one.
I was a big phone talker as a teen, so much so that my parents gifted me my very own phone line. Phone lines have come a long way Mr. Bell. The line came with a snazzy portable phone (no cord!) with an accompanying answering machine in case I missed an important call. When you’re thirteen, every call is important. But, I had to wait for a phone number to free up. Turns out, when my Mom phoned the folks at AT&T they advised her the only number available was 876-6969. I’m not sure if that number had any significance back in your day, but lets just say my Dad was having none of that.
Your fantastic invention has come a long way. I no longer have a ‘land line’ but make all my calls on a mobile phone which fits in my pocket—can you believe it?! It does all sorts of other neat tricks too, like keeps an address book of numbers I can’t seem to remember. And it surfs the internet—but that’s a long story and another letter I’m afraid.
Thank you for inventing the telephone. And thanks for your other contributions to the vault. You had quite a lot of interests—you were granted 18 patents in your name alone. And I had no idea you tutored Helen Keller (I think they forgot to mention that in school). Hats off to you good sir! And many thanks!