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On This Day



On This Day… A Phone Fit For A Queen!

Written by: George Chittenden : 27 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 14th January, back in 1878, when Alexander Graham Bell visited Queen Victoria at her Osborne House estate on the Isle of Wight and performed a demonstration of his telephone. They were the first publicly witnessed long-distance calls and were placed from Osborne House on the Isle of Wight to London, Cowes and Southampton.

Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight

Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight

The Queen was so impressed, she ordered a private line to be laid between Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, and Buckingham Palace. However, Her Majesty’s Post Office seemed less impressed.

When Alexander Bell’s agent offered the company rights to develop the telephone as part of the British telegraph system, the Post Office declined.

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