5 Little Known Facts about Telephones

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Telephones. They’re something we take for granted everyday. Many of us even loathe having to use small business phone systems at work, preferring instead to send a text message or email. But from full-fledged small business phone systems to the cell phones we carry in our pockets, phones are something with which we interact on a daily basis. Yet, many of us are ignorant of many of the facts concerning these little pieces of technology that can connect us with almost anybody in the world. Here are five things you (probably) never knew about telephones.

While one might think that something like business phones systems were the reason for the first phone numbers, the invention was actually spurred by an outbreak of the measles in Lowell, MA. Alexander Graham Bell’s friend, Dr. Moses Greeley Parker noticed a flaw in telephone systems of the time during this epidemic. Before the invention of phone numbers, a person would call the operator and ask to be transferred to a particular line. In the middle of the measles outbreak in his town, Dr. Parker realized that if all of the town’s operators got sick, replacements would have a hard time running the telephone systems. The solution was to assign numbers instead of names to each line.

Area codes are something we use today without a second thought, whether we’re using small business phone systems at work or just dialing a friend from our cell phone. But area codes are a relatively recent invention, not having been introduced until 1951. The initial system was conceived in the late 1940s, but was not established until the introduction of the 201 area code in New Jersey. Initially, area codes were given out based on population. This is why some of the most populous cities in the country have very similar area codes. New York has 212, Los Angeles 213, and Chicago 312. These numbers were chosen because they were exceedingly easy to dial on a rotary phone.

While small business phone systems can be expensive to set up, they pale in comparison to the cost of the most expensive telephone number. The most expensive phone number sold for $2.7 million dollars. Which phone number could possibly be worth that much money? 666-6666, and it was sold for charity in Qatar.

You’re probably well aware of the 555 prefix being the go to number for fake phone numbers in television and movies. However, some studios have bucked this trend, opting for real telephone numbers. For instance, Universal Studios has featured the number (212) 664-7665 in multiple films, including The Adjustment Bureau, Definitely Maybe and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. This number is owned by universal studios and just rings and rings if dialed.

Many of us love our cell phones and wouldn’t know what to do without them. We’ve constantly been sending text messages since the first one was sent in 1992, and we are always checking Facebook or Twitter to keep up with our friends. However, this is a luxury many of take for granted. Prisoners in the United States are (understandably) not allowed access to cell phones. And if they are found with one, they will have an extra 25 years added to their sentence. Good refereneces.

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