First international phone call

The Ferry Point International Bridge represents one of the busiest border crossings between the United States and Canada, with more than six thousand light vehicles and six hundred trucks crossing daily. The residents at either end of the bridge share a common history going back to when Canada was still a dominion of Britain. Around that time theirs was also the site of the first international phone call.

On this day, July 1, in 1881 The phone call was made between the city of St. Stephen in New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine, in the United States.

Western Union had installed the first telephone exchange in St. Stephen two years before, using Edison’s systems, and a few days later Dominion Telegraph installed a competing, but incompatible exchange. Both of those merged into the Bell Telephone company several years later, and the first international phone lines were set up.