Automatic redial is a feature of phones that allows the caller to call the last number dialed using the instrument. By contrast, a manual redial is when the user manually inputs the digits last dialed, or to choose a number to redial from the last set of numbers dialed on the instrument.
Did you know that the use of the verb dial as it pertains to phones originated from the rotary phones of the past? Rotary phones used dials with finger holes to input the digits needed to make a telephone call. This allowed the caller to call people directly, as it eliminates the need for the switchboard operator. The rotary dial was invented by Almon Brown Strowger in the early 1890s. By 1919, the American Bell Telephone Company began mass-producing rotary phones. Rotary phones had no redial features – they required the user to dial the number for every single call.
In 1962, the “Touch-Tone” was introduced at the 1962 World Fair in Seattle, Washington. Touch-Tone phones have buttons for digit input, and the dual-tone multi-frequency system produces tones for each of the ten digits. The rise of the push-button telephone through the decades that followed lead to the demise of the rotary phone, but the word “dial” stuck for the process of inputting numbers into the instrument.
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