Telephones, be they the clunking, desk-bound machines of old or the sleek and shiny smartphones most of us have in our pockets, have played a major part in recent history. Some of the most important events of the last century-and-a-bit have involved two people, miles apart, chatting over a phone line. We’re taking a look at some of the most historic phone calls that have ever taken place.
First phone call
On 10 March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the very first telephone call ever to take place. The call certainly didn’t cover any considerable distance, since it was to his assistant, Thomas Watson, who was in the next room. It was a short call, consisting of just a few words which have gone down in history: “Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you”.
Phone call to the moon
The first ever interplanetary phone call took place on 20 July 1969, a date already steeped in history since it was the day on which man first set foot on the moon. To congratulate astronaut Neil Armstrong, US president Richard Nixon phoned him from the White House, a call which was broadcast to television screens around the world.
First mobile phone call
While the worldwide explosion in the popularity of mobile phones may have only take place over the last 10-15 years, the very first mobile phone call dates back considerably further. On 3 April 1973 a Motorola engineer named Marty Cooper was the very first person to make a call with a cellular device, marking the beginning of a whole new era of communication. Gloatingly, the person Cooper chose to call was his biggest rival in the race towards mobile communication, Dr Joel S. Engel of US telecom firm Bell Labs.
Longest phone call ever
The longest phone call ever made took place at a shopping centre in Latvia as part of a promotional stunt by European telecoms firm Tele2. Two couples chatted for a total of 54 hours and four minutes, breaking the previous world record of 40 hours that was set in 2007 by Briton Tony Wright.