90 years before the invention of the modern wireless telephone, Alexander Graham Bell invented a device that could transmit speech using sunlight. Bell was immensely proud of the achievement, to the point that he wanted to name his new second daughter “Photophone”, which was subtly discouraged by his wife Mabel Bell (they instead chose “Marian”, with “Daisy” as her nickname).
Early telephones had no ringers and no hang-up hooks. Callers would get the attention of those they were calling by yelling loudly (often, “ahoy!”) into the receiver until someone on the other end noticed.
More than half the world’s population have never made or received a telephone call.
The world’s first ever telephone directory was published in New haven Connecticut, in February 1878 – less than three years after the invention of the telephone. It had fifty names in it, and was just one page long.