Celebrating 134 Years of Canadian Communications

06 May 2014

Since Bell was founded on April 29, 1880, we’ve been committed to leadership in communications investment and service. But, a lot has changed since then, too. Here are a few interesting facts from the early years you may not have known:

  • In the 1880’s, customers’ phones were 80 cm (2.5 feet) tall. To make a call, they would pick up the receiver, turn a crank and ask an operator to connect them to the person they were calling. Individual phone numbers were not introduced until 1884.
  • If the person they wanted to call didn’t have a telephone, Bell would send a messenger to their home to ask them to come to the Bell office to take the call
  • Every morning, each customer received a call from the operator to ensure their service was working

We’ve come a long way in 134 years and Bell has supported our nation’s growth and prosperity by leading investment and innovation in communications infrastructure and services. Thanks to Bell team members past and present, as well as our loyal customers. Together, we’ll continue to find ways to make communications better for Canadians from coast to coast. For even more information on Bell’s history in Canada, click here.

First telephone, ca. 1880.

A Bell telephone switchboard operator from the early 1900's.

A Bell telephone switchboard operator from the early 1900′s.