Today in history: Alexander Graham Bell’s phone patent

There is no doubt that the telephone has revolutionised the way we work and play. Yet, if Alexander Graham Bell had not filed his patent for the communications device on this day back in 1876, things may have been very different.

Having worked on the idea of transmitting speech using electricity for some time, Bell filed his patent on 14 February 1876. Interestingly, and perhaps controversially, the move came just hours before his main rival for the title of inventor of the telephone, Elisha Gray.

Naturally, as is the case now, patents weren't granted instantly back then and Bell had to wait until 7 March before being given the green light for his work.

According to reports, many legal challenges to Bell's originality ensued, but rulings ultimately fell in his favour. Much to the dismay of many, he was awarded patent number 174, 465. A series of numbers that look very little but have achieved so much.

Just a few days after the patent was granted, on 10 March 1876, Bell had another success when he conducted the first phone call' with his assistant Watson.

The Bell Telephone company was formed just a year later in 1877. The rest, as they say, is history.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.