Alexander Graham Bell conceived the theoretical concept for the telephone in July 1874 whilst on holiday in Canada, was granted a patent for it on 7 March 1876 and made the first long-distance call, of six miles, on 10 August that year. The Bell telephone company was formed on 9 July 1877 and the long-distance division of Bell – The American Telegraph and Telephone Company incorporated on 3 March 1885.
It was not until 21 October 1915 that the first transatlantic voice transmission was made (and then only one-way) between Paris and Arlington VA.
The first commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated on 7th January 1927. Using two-way radio, a conversation was held between Walter Gifford, President of AT & T in New York and Sir Evelyn Murray, Secretary of the General Post Office in London.
It’s said that Gifford opened the call by asking:
How’s the weather over in London?”
(For the record there was drizzle in London and sunshine in New York).
The first duplex call across the Atlantic actually occurred the previous day to test the system. It commenced at 02:35 UTC between the 26th floor of the Bell Building in New York and Rugby in the UK. Unfortunately, the identities of the two technicians making the call were not recorded, but the American speaker made the prophetic comment:
Distance doesn’t matter anymore. We are on the verge of a very high-speed world.”