29    Jan 20133 comments

Technology: Staying in touch through the years

There are many ways to stay connected with our family, no matter the distance.

We write e-mails, send letters or speak on the phone. Even with Skype on our computers, many of us still have a land line phone at home to connect with our families locally and worldwide.

Hearing our families’ voices brings us closer together, but how were we able to keep in touch before all these technological advances showed up in our homes?

Construction of the first regular phone line was completed in 1877. By the end of 1880, there were 47,900 telephones in the US. Since the first Bell telephone company was established in 1878, phones have evolved from the “candlestick” telephone to rotary-dial and to today’s cordless handsets.

The telephone emerged as an improvement to the telegraph. Many credit Alexander Graham Bell with the telephone’s invention; he did patent the invention. However, others have been recognized for their contributions including Italian-American inventor Antonio Meucci, who developed a voice communication apparatus considered by many as the first telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell placing the first New York to Chicago phone call in 1892. Image credit: wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell placing the first New York to Chicago phone call in 1892. Image credit: wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone

The phone’s design has changed technically and visually since the first 19th century. They have been made of wood, metal and - more commonly today - plastic.

The first model had two parts to speak and listen. In 1890, the phone evolved to the handset, with a one-piece microphone and earpiece The early 20th century rotary dial was replaced by touch-tone phones during the 1960s. By 1970, cordless phones provided a user-friendly telephone that made it possible to communicate from anywhere in our homes.

The history of cellular phones can be traced to two-way radios, but wasn't really developed until the 1960s. The first cell call was placed in 1973. Today, many of us have mobile phones, making communication with our families easier without being restricted to phoning from a specific place.

Computers have also helped with communication since the mid-1970s. With the Internet, communication via the web has increased. What is better than seeing family even if they are far away? All these great communication tools provide easy ways to stay in touch with the people we love.

With MyHeritage, there are several ways to make communication easier with our relatives. Members can send messages, create events, birthday reminders and more.

What modern communication technology tools do you use to stay in touch with your family? Before cell phones and video communication, how did you keep in touch?

Share below, or leave us a comment on our Facebook page.

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Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Smoke signals and mirrors and whistles;-)
  2. Good old fashion letters and telephone
  3. Face to face, letters, telephone. The art of writing a letter has been lost - which is a loss to future generations. While I am happy we have more ways to communicate, I notice that with young people the only way they communicate is by text or email. I think it's a real shame.

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