Birthplace of the Telephone - Atlas Obscura

Birthplace of the Telephone

A stone marker commemorating the first time sound was transmitted over wires. 


Within the streets of Boston, historical markers and plaques are everywhere. Most are related to various people and events that occurred within Boston’s history. But there is one location that commemorates a small but significant event that not only changed Boston and United States history, but human and world history forever.

On June 2, 1875, Scottish immigrant and inventor Alexander Graham Bell and electrical engineer Thomas A. Watson were inside a garret of a fifth-floor building on 109 Court Street when they managed to transmit sound over wires for the first time in history. Though it only lasted a few moments, the experiment was the culmination of decades of research.

The experiment would be repeated almost a year later on March 10, 1876. With minor improvements and adjustments made, Bell uttered the words, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Watson was surprised when he heard Bell’s voice and Bell was equally surprised when he saw Watson following his directions. The telephone was first exhibited at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition later that year. The age of the telephone had begun.

Since 1876, the phone has undergone numerous changes and improvements. Rotary phones became push button phones, which became cell phones, and eventually smartphones.

It is estimated that around 13.5 billion phone calls are made around the world daily and it all started here when two men discovered soundwaves could be transmitted through electrical wires. If you have an interest in the history of telephones, then the Birthplace of the Telephone marker is worth checking out.

Know Before You Go

It is located within the grounds of the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and close to Cambridge Street. It is placed behind some small bushes. 

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