How has the look of telephones and their usage changed over the years and how have they impacted society?
You have a few different questions here... I'm mainly going to answer the one about the impact on our society, but I'm posting one link with pictures of old phones. (antiquetelephonehistory...)
When telephones were first introduced, they were mainly used by businesses so that people could communicate with one another more quickly. As time went by, telephones quickly came to be used by residential customers as well. In the years that have followed, phones have become more and more widespread, with many households having more than one phone or more than one phone line (or cell phone).
So what's the impact? I'll mention a few: 1. Greater safety. The ability to have the police, the fire department, etc available via phone increases safety. 2. More ability to keep in touch with friends and family. The phone is more effective in this regard than letters were. 3. On the more negative side, the rise in phones and especially cell phones make it hard to separate work and private life as workers are potentially always accessible to their employers (to be asked questions, asked to call clients, etc).
Telecommunications has eventually became an industry, and we have to pay to use the phones. It has become more convenient to contact each other.
Business also changed the way they do communication with the use of telephones. With telephones they are easily reached and contacted. Other modern telecommunication services such as internet faxing, voicemail to email, 800 number provided other means of connectivity with the customers and associates.
The telephone is one of the greatest invention of the 20th century. Thanks to the inventors.