Wednesday 5 August 2020

100th Anniversary of the Telephone (Indonesia, 1976)

Firstly, let us admire the visuals. On the left, an image recreating one of Alexander Graham Bell’s early telephones. On the right, premium 1970s design for a contemporary handset! I’m guessing that perhaps the image on the right was also the symbol for public phones in Indonesia at around this time.

Of course, I’m courting trouble by mentioning Bell’s name. So yes, whilst he is credited with the invention of the telephone, let us also credit those whose work led to his successes, particularly Charles Grafton Page, Innocenzo Manzetti, Charles Bourseul, Johann Philipp Reis, Antonio Meucci, Cyrille Duquet and perhaps the least fortunate of them all, Elisha Gray.

For local context, Indonesia’s telecoms company (now known as Telkom Indonesia) was established in 1856 as a telegraph company with telephony services introduced in 1882 through private providers who were all taken over by the government in 1906. You can find out what happened next at the second link below…

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