The World's Fair and Technology: 8 Amazing Highlights

Ahead of next month's 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, we explore tech innovations--from the telephone to touchscreens--that premiered during the Fair's sprawling 159-year history

Telephones

Alexander Graham Bell first demonstrated his telephone design to the public at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Two years later, at the Third Paris World's Fair, the telephone earned Bell a Grand Prize, which he shared with Thomas Edison (who had greatly improved the device) and Elisha Gray (who may have invented it).

Prior to the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair, Bell conducted the first transcontinental call (from New York to San Francisco) and made a daily cross-country call possible throughout the show's three-month run. After years of experiments, Bell Labs--as part of AT&T--would go onto showcase and sell its "Picturephone" videophone at the 1964 (New York) and 1967 (Montreal) World's Fairs

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