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When dialing in a call to the hospital, to a friend or a co-worker, we had to do the bare minimum. All that was required was to call an operator and ask them to transmit your call to the relevant individual. But now the times have changed. We have our smartphones on us 24/7 and we no longer rely on a third-party to connect our calls to someone.

But the current form of telephones and phone numbers has advanced because of varied efforts made decades ago. We got the number system built, alphabets in telephone numbers were tossed aside and area codes were introduced. Surely to make this possible many peculiar facts would be attached to these historical achievements. And that is exactly what we are going to shed some light on!

The First-Ever Phone Call Made  

While there are people who deny the factual grounding of the first-ever phone call, it does not mean it never happened. The telephone call was made by Alexander Graham Bell on March 10, 1878. The call was transmitted to Bell’s assistant, Thomas Watson with the words ‘Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you’. If you fast forward to the present time, you get to see how times have changed. The number of smartphone users worldwide has surpassed three billion and the number is only expected to grow. It puts us into deep thought as to how there were only two sets of telephones in 1878 and now we have smartphone users ascending to billions.

Telephone Numbers Can Cost You a Fortune  

Registering a golden phone number has always been a grappling feat. The phone number (866) 666-6666 is now owned by a New York-based limousine company but the price tag did not come as cheap. The number was initially sold at a charity event in Qatar and was put on the market at a price of $2.7 million. That is not a small figure. However, it is not the only golden phone number that exists. In China, the number 888-8888 sold for $280,000. Who imagined phone numbers would cost you a fortune.

A Concoction of Alphabets and Letters  

According to the North American Numbering Plan, every three-digital area code has the room to store up to 7.9 million telephone numbers. But if you rewind back to the 1950s, the telephone numbering system was a tad bit different. Telephone numbers used to be a concoction of alphabets and numbers. Each phone number was built on a 2-Letter and 5-Number pattern. While this allowed the phone numbers to be easily recognizable according to their corresponding regions but it did not last long. Now that the number of telephone subscribers is exponentially increasing, this system was bound to become outdated. 

First Original U.S. Area Codes

The advent of Area Codes took place in the 1940s. Possible through the efforts of AT&T and Bell laboratories, we did not run out of phone numbers all because of the inclusion of Area Codes. Every Area Code that we see attached with phone numbers is derived out of the North American Numbering Plan. Originally, the number of area codes was set to 90 codes and these are the codes each highly populated U.S. city or state received:

New York         – 212

Los Angeles     – 213

Chicago           – 312

Texas               – 915

Kansas             – 913

Phone Numbers as a Music Marketing Gimmick  

Adding phone numbers to song lyrics has been a marketing gimmick. Alicia Keys, Tommy Tutone, and Glenn Miller are three notable mentions. Glenn Miller’s song Pennsylvania 6-5000 is in actuality the phone number of New York-based hotel, Hotel Pennsylvania.

The Reality Behind 555 Numbers

Ever felt the urge to dial in a phone number you saw in a movie? Well, all of us have sparked the same curiosity at some point. However, numbers in movies have the 555 prefixes added to them. And most 555 numbers are either deactivated or did not exist at all.

World’s First Phone Directory

The first phone book contained only 1 page. Back in February 1878, the first-ever telephone directory did not look much like a book rather it was merely a piece of cardboard with names of private businesses and individuals written on it. To your surprise, the directory only had 50 names mentioned.

Emergency Telephone Numbers (If You Ever Decide to Travel)

Emergency service numbers have a nice catch to them. The most globally known emergency number is probably America’s standard emergency number – 911. To your surprise, 911 was not officially registered in North America until the 1960s. As for emergency numbers in other parts of the world, the United Kingdom has two of them. One’s 112, the standard number in Europe, and 999 which is the official emergency number in the UK.

Other emergency codes include:

Mexico            – 065

Brazil               – 911

China               – 120

Russia              – 112

India                – 102

A Few More Interesting Facts

There are a galore of telephone facts from the U.S. as well as from around the world but we can only jot down a few. But here are a few more interesting maps we would like to highlight.

  • ✓ We have heard of zany phobias but there is one for numbers too. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is the fear of the number six-hundred sixty-six.
  • ✓ The use of phone books is becoming obsolete. Only 5% of people have been reported to use payphones as of 2013.
  • ✓ Apple co-founder owned the telephone number 888-8888. He has also been known for his liking towards repeating patterns of numbers.
  • ✓ In 1947, 34 U.S. states only had one Area Code.

To Conclude

Now that we own digital home phones and smartphones, these devices have become secondary to us. And we did not put much thought into the history of both telephones and the phone numbers we own today. We have unique area codes and phone numbers. All of this has been possible through years of commendable work. We compiled all the exciting facts about numbers, area codes, and even about the advent of the telephone that we could find. Surely, it would have been an interesting read for you as much as we found it interesting to compile this blog for you!

On a side note, if you have been looking for a digital home phone for yourself, you can consider getting one from Spectrum Phone. To know more about Spectrum phone services and further assistance, contact Spectrum customer service for all your inquiries.