Did you know that in 1915, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson demonstrated the first transcontinental telephone call in the United States? The transcontinental telephone system stretched through 13 states and used 4,750 miles of telephone cable (which was made of 2,960 tons of copper wire) and 130,000 telephone poles. From New York City, Alexander Graham Bell repeated his famous words, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.” Since he was more than 3,400 miles away in San Francisco, Thomas Watson replied, “It will take me five days to get there now!”
We hope that you have clear and eager lines of communication at school today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
The telephone line was completed on June 17, 1914. The final connection and telephone pole was raised and set in place in Wendover, Utah. This was called the “Golden Splice” – hearkening to the “Golden Spike” that completed the transcontinental railroad system.
The first test call for the transcontinental system was made by Theodore Vail, the president of AT&T, in July 1914. The exciting demonstration of the transcontinental phone line was scheduled for January 2015, to be part of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, one of the world fairs.
Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson were not the only ones to participate in the call. In New York City, May John F. Michael was with Alexander Graham Bell. In San Francisco, Mayor James Rolph and Charles Moore (President of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition) was with Thomas Watson. US President Woodrow Wilson joined in from Washington DC, and Theodor Vail connected from Jekyll Island in Georgia. After the inaugural call, President Woodrow Wilson spoke to an audience in San Francisco from the White House.