At first, there were few "Features". It was just a box with a crank on the side and an earpiece and mouthpiece. You would turn the crank to get the attention of the operator. The operator would acknowledge being on the line and you would explain who you wanted to talk to. The operator would physically connect your phone wire to another phone wire. Often you had to go through several operators to get connected to the person you wanted to talk to. I guess one might say that the features were the nice wood box with the earpiece, microphone and handcrank. By todays standards, there weren't many features.
An undisputed fact is that Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be awarded a patent for the electric telephone by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in March 1876. That first patent by Bell was the master patent of the telephone, from which all other patents for electric telephone devices and features flowed
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