National Geographic : 1965 May
First Presidential phone call connects Ruther ford B. Hayes with Alexander Graham Bell. In 1877, at Rocky Point, Rhode Island, Hayes (left) listens over a bobbinlike receiver-transmitter. From Providence, Mr. Bell speaks to the Presi dent through 13 miles of wire. A few months later, Hayes installed the first telephone in the White House. Not until the Hoover Administra tion in 1929, however, did the instrument sit on the desk of a Chief Executive. Melting pot of the West, Chicago in 1870 reels from droves of immigrants, merchants, frontiers men, and Indians who jam the station platforms. Only one year earlier, east and west coasts had been stapled together by a steel ribbon of track. As early as 1854, this booming metropolis had become the Nation's railway hub; more than 200 trains rumbled into the city each day. Steam-snorting engines power threshing ma chines harvesting the wheat crop in the Dakota Territory during the late 1870's. Men bag the grain that pours out of the horseless thresher at a rate of some 600 bushels a day. Wagon in fore ground hauls away the sacked bounty. PRODUCED BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICSOCIETY, GEOGRAPHICART DIVISION © N.G.S.