Detroit was the First City in the World to Get Phone Numbers
The city of Detroit had many firsts, but this one changed the world fast.
The history of the telephone is surprisingly complicated. We know for sure that in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell got the first U.S. patent for the telephone. However, it appears that the first phone was actually created by Italian inventor Antonio Meucci in 1849.
The first phone call in the history books happened on March 10th, 1876 according to AmericasLibrary.org. That famous call was placed by Alexander Graham Bell in New York and was received by his assistant Mr. Watson in Chicago. However it was the industrial city of Detroit that took telecommunications to the next level in 1879 according to DetroitHistorical.org,
1879: Detroit becomes the first city to assign individual telephone numbers.
To put this in perspective, London got its first phone number in 1937. The Motor City was decades ahead of the rest of the world.
When phone numbers were created in Motown, they weren't given to just anyone. In fact, having a phone number was a status symbol. Detroit residents had to pay a pricey monthly premium to have their own phone number. I guess some things never change.
Digging a little deeper into the history of telephones in Michigan, we found the first commercial phone used in the Mitten State. You can see that phone by clicking here. In 1877 this phone that looked more like a camera popped up first in Rockford, Michigan.