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Phone for the Holidays

December 7, 2014

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Profile America — Sunday, December 7th. The nation's telephone systems are humming with activity as holiday wishes by the millions criss-cross the country. It was much different in 1876, when there were all of three telephones in the country. But Alexander Graham Bell's startup proved a keeper, and a decade later there were 167,000 phones in the U.S. By the 50th anniversary year of the phone's invention, there were nearly 18 million phones in the country. In 1926, a three-minute call from one of those phones in New York to another in San Francisco carried the considerable charge of $11.30, the equivalent of almost $152 today. Now, 70 percent of households have landline phones, and 89 percent own cellphones, with lots of free long distance included in the many plans. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <>.

Early telephone history: Historical Statistics of the United States, Part 2/pages 784 & 783
Inflation calculator
Households with phones pg. 10

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: November 21, 2014