"Can you hear me now?" A history of telephones in Arizona

This week in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell both patented the telephone and made his famous first call.  It took a few years for telephones to reach Arizona -- but just how many is a little unclear.

According to the Pioneer Telephone Museum, on April 1, 1881, the first telephone exchange was established in Tucson. But the Arizona Weekly Star, on March 10, 1881 mentioned the editorial offices being in “telephonic communication” with the telegraph offices.

Yet, it was 3 years earlier that The Weekly Arizona Miner , on March 22, 1878 reported that the first successful telephone call was made from Yuma to San Diego. 

Weekly Arizona Miner article

Eventually telephones grew more common, and advertisements began appearing in the papers. The Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Company was the largest in Arizona. Here is an ad from the Coconino Daily Sun, July 14, 1916. 

And for those still unsure about how to use a telephone (or the proper etiquette for doing so), here's a handy guide from the Bisbee Daily Review, December 15, 1922. 

How to use the phone