Mr Bell preferred “Ahoy” if you must know.

Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call to Watson on this day in 1876.

“Mr. Watson come here I want you.”

The funny thing is that while Edison failed to be the first with the phone, he did manage to make “Hello” the universal way to answer a phone. Bell himself had preferred using “Ahoy” which was derived from the Dutch “Hoi” or hello. “Ahoy” had been in use since 1727 at least while “Hello” was used by itself from 1827. Before that “Hello” was used to express surprise, as in “Hello! What a thing to say!”

The first phone book ever published, by the District Telephone Company of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878 (with 50 names) told users to begin their conversations with “a firm and cheery ‘hulloa.”‘

Mr. Burns in the Simpsons show still says “Ahoy-hoy” when he answers a phone though, to show how ancient he is.

. This photo shows the entry Bell made on this day. His entire laboratory note book can be looked at online at:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=am-reas&fileName=trr002page.db&recNum=0&itemLink=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.loc.gov%2Fexhibits%2Ftreasures%2Ftrr002.html&linkText=9

Bell diary
March 10, 1876

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