- Thomas Alva Edison
The first telephones did not have dialers or ringers. One simply shouted into the telephone and hoped that the person at the other end was actually within hearing of the other end and paying attention. But what to shout? Alexander Graham Bell suggested the nautical term “Ahoy!”. Edison thought that the vowels made the word too soft for electronic speech. So he invented his own word using the root “hell” with a vowel at the end. Central
exchanges, dialers, ringers came along but that word still survives from those days’ practices.
More on the telephone.
Pictured is Alexander Graham Bell making the first New York to Chicago long distance telephone call.