The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. A fellow inventor, Elisha Gray, invented a voice transmission system at the same time, but Bell was first to patent his invention.
Before the invention of the telephone, communications were sent in Morse code by telegraph. The telephone simplified the exchange of information by transmitting speech instead of a series of electrical impulses to be translated into words. Telephone use immediately began to expand across cities and countries and, after the first transcontinental call made by Alexander Graham Bell in 1915, telephones were used to connect people around the world.