In 1881 – Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell formed the Oriental Telephone Company in agreement with the Anglo-Indian Telephone Company Ltd. The company was licensed to sell telephones in Greece, Turkey, South Africa, India, Japan, China and several other Asian countries.
In 1915 – AT&T inaugurated transcontinental telephone service with a call made between New York City and San Francisco, Cal. The line had been completed the previous summer too early for the Panama Pacific Exposition, where it was introduced.
In 1921 – A play called Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.) by Karel Capek debuted at the National Theater in Prague. It was the first appearance of the word robot. Spoiler alert, the robots end up killing all the humans but one.
In 1979 – Robert Williams was killed on the job in a Flat Rock, Michigan, casting plant, becoming the first recorded human death by robot.