Milestones in telephone history:
_1876: Alexander Graham Bell invents and receives patents for his ``electrical speech machine,″ the telephone.
_1878: First telephone exchange opens in New Haven, Conn. Within a few years, licensed telephone exchanges open in every major U.S. city.
_1885: First phone line is established between New York and Philadelphia.
_1913: Settlement of the first antitrust lawsuit against AT&T establishes the phone company as a government-sanctioned monopoly.
_1927: Cross-Atlantic phone service begins between the United States and London. The initial cost is $75 for the first three minutes.
_1934: Cross-Pacific telephone service begins between the United States and Japan. The initial cost is $39 for the first three minutes.
_1963: Touchtone dialing is introduced in some cities, with a keypad replacing the traditional telephone dial.
_1968: AT&T introduces 911 as a nationwide emergency number.
_1969: Over 90 percent of U.S. households have a telephone.
_1982: As part of the settlement of a landmark antitrust lawsuit, AT&T and the Justice Department agree to break up the phone company. The deal triggers the end of the 69-year monopoly.
_1983: The United States’ first commercial cellular telephone system opens in Chicago.
_1984: Phone customers officially get to choose their long-distance carrier, possible because of the implementation of AT&T’s breakup.
_Middle to late 1980s: Answering machines become commonplace.
_1993: Congress lifts price and other economic regulations on wireless services.
_1996: Congress passes the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
_2002: Most phones in the world are cell phones.
Main sources: AT&T, Verizon