Alexander Graham Bell's request for his assistant to 'come here' revolutionized the way America's citizens communicated with one another. Bell's seemingly humble but transformative invention, the telephone remains a crucial part of daily life and is used by billions of people worldwide every day. With the far-reaching network it spawned, it drew out its most isolated citizens and gathered the populace into a simultaneously intimate and national conversation. A nation of remote farmhouses, suburban families, and city dwellers could now be connected to each other over great distances. The telephone's integration into society now makes it impossible to imagine the technological and social achievements of the 20th century without it.