First Transcontinental Telephone Call 103rd Anniversary

Bell and Watson pave the way for Smart City’s success

103 years ago, the first transcontinental telephone call was made by Alexander Graham Bell, in New York City, to Dr. Thomas Watson in San Francisco. Sixty-nine years later Smart City, then Centel Facilities Communications, was established in the basement of the Houston Astrodome to provide telecommunication services at events.

Old Phone

On January 25, 1915, at 15 Dey Street in New York, Bell talked to Watson at 333 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. Over more than 3,400-miles of wire, Bell repeated the famous words he had said on the first telephone call ever, thirty-eight years prior, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.” To which Watson then replied, “It would take me a week now.” Bell then heard some noise that he initially thought was due to imperfections in the transmission but then realized it was just the applause from the crowd in San Francisco attending the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Though the phone call was merely symbolic, since the line had been finished in June 1914 and tested a month later, all the efforts leading up to this event laid the foundation for Smart City’s creation nearly seven decades later, and for that, we are forever thankful. Thank you Alexander Graham Bell, Dr. Thomas Watson and everyone who contributed to the early days of telecommunications, you made Smart City possible!

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