I think most of us are pretty grateful for the invention of the telephone. Since its inception, the phone has become more indispensable and ownership more accessible to everyone.
In the 1940s it appears Bell Telephone System was schooling the general public on proper telephone etiquette for their single phone. (Many of these ads are fun to read but too small in the blog - click on them and then look for the magnifying glass and + sign above the photo.)
August 1942 "The American Home" magazine
June 1943 "The American Home" magazine
In the 1950s and 1960s the ads were about staying in touch, especially peace of mind and being able to talk long-distance
January 1955 Life Magazine
March 14, 1955 Life Magazine
February 21, 1955
March 5, 1956 Life Magazine
February 1957 Life Magazine
March 18, 1957 Life Magazine
January 25, 1960 Life Magazine
March 14, 1960 Life Magazine
March 8, 1963 Life Magazine
And then there are ads to encourage having a second line for the home
March 21, 1955
February 1959 American Home Magazine
February 1961 American Home Magazine
February 1962 American Home Magazine
February 1, 1963 Life Magazine
Operators and friendly Bell Telephone Service
January 23, 1956 Life Magazine
and Mr. Bell featured on an ad, too!
February 27, 1956 Life Magazine
January 11, 1960, Life Magazine
(This is super cute!)
January 24, 1963 Life Magazine
March 19, 1963 Life Magazine
Check out these predictions and service improvements
January 24, 1959 Saturday Evening Post Magazine
Picture of Tomorrow. Will tomorrow's telephones be smaller and lighter and specially designed for each room? Will the dial, mouthpiece and receiver all be in the unit you hold in your hand? Will you be able to get your party just by pushing buttons, instead of dialing? We're working on many types and testing them at Bell Laboratories and in homes and offices.
March 7, 1960
The high frequency radio waves that carry telephone and television signals travel in straight lines and refuse to follow the earth's curvature. To overcome this, it may well be possible and practical to send them over long distances by using earth satellites as relay points.
January 18, 1963 Life Magazine
February 8, 1963 Life Magazine
March 15, 1963 Life Magazine
July/August 1976 Bicentennial Issue of Saturday Evening Post
. . . For example, even now we're starting Electronic Long Distance Switching - a computerized way to make long distance calling faster and more efficient than ever before. Further in the future, we'll have Lightwave Communications, a system that will carry phone calls on a beam of light.You might also like this on the Wall of Retro The Way We See It – Bell Ad from 1983
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone to help people communicate better. Our goal is to keep improving on his dream.
So for all the countless times I've relied on my phone, thank you and Happy Birthday Alexander Graham Bell!