Sometimes, early telephone operators would get to know their customers so well, the customers would ask for a reminder call when it was time to remove a cake from the oven, leave the phone off the hook near their sleeping child when they left the house, hoping the operator would hear any cries of distress, request a wake up call before taking a long nap.
Telephone is derived from two Greek words, tele + phone, meaning far off voice or sound.(Tele, far off + phone, voice or sound).
In Milan, Italy, when an operator dialed a wrong number, the phone company fined the operator.
Just like today’s computers, early telephones were very confusing to new users. Some became so frustrated with the new technology, they attacked the phone with an ax or ripped it out of the wall.
In the late 30’s, a man named Abe Pickens of Cleveland, Ohio, attempted to promote world peace by placing personal calls to various country leaders. He managed to contact Mussolini, Hirohito, Franco and Hitler (Hitler, who didn’t understand English, transferred him to an aide). He spent$10,000 to “give
peace a chance.”
In the Catholic church, St. Gabriel, an archangel, is the patron saint of telecommunications.