Less than forty years ago there were no telephones. Today there are more than 10,000,000 in use and they are found in every civilized country on the globe. The United States has more than 7,000,000 telephones. In New England alone there are over 1,000,000 miles of telephone wire, hundreds of central offices, and over half a million telephones.

The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in Boston in 1876. At first it was looked upon as a toy and considered as of little value. So strong was this' general opinion that it was hard to get money to develop it. Today the money invested in telephony runs into billions and the telephone has proved one of the greatest inventions of all time. It has made possible instant talk over a wire between millions of people. One can talk from Boston to Chicago, and even hundreds of miles farther, almost as easily as across the street.

No business ever grew so rapidly. Although it was possible to talk over a crude telephone wire in 1876, it was not until years later that the invention was really established on a sound footing.