Stearns Telephone

Registered Site S0303

Stearns Telephone

On September 22, 1877, a Bell telephone was installed on this site in the drugstore operated by Frederick Stearns. An iron wire strung along the rooftops connected the store with the Stearns laboratory a half mile away at the foot of Fifth Street. This service only eighteen months after Alexander Graham Bell patented his invention was the first to be offered by the organization which eventually developed into the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. A placard in the store window invited the public to drop in every hour on the hour to speak over the amazing new device. Other private lines followed, but it was a year before the first telephone exchange was constructed with fifteen or twenty subscribers on each party line.
photo of Stearns Telephone

One of three markers mounted on the ground.

Erected 1977

Location: 511 Woodward
Detroit, Wayne County

Business & Industry

Latitude: 42.329806, Longitude: -83.0458367

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