by 1878 [Des Moines Register, May 16], colloquial shortening of telephone (n.), "generally applied to the receiver, but sometimes to the whole apparatus" [Century Dictionary, 1895]. Phone book "publication listing telephone numbers and their associated names" is by 1920; phone booth "small enclosure or stall provided with a public pay-telephone" is by 1906; phone bill "statement of charges for telephone service" is by 1901; phone number (short for telephone number) is by 1906.
"elementary sound of a spoken language, one of the primary elements of utterance," 1866, from Greek phōnē "sound, voice" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").
word-forming element meaning "voice, sound," also "speaker of," from Greek phōnē "voice, sound" of a human or animal, also "tone, voice, pronunciation, speech," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, say, tell" (source also of Latin for, fari "to speak," fama "talk, report").
Buck Rogers thought it up more than 25 years ago, and Bell System has been working on it here for 15 years. Now it's here.
It is called Picturephone, and it is a small television camera and receiver that allows telephone users to gaze into the features of the person they are talking to.
Whether this really is a boon to mankind remains to be seen.
["Picturephones Are On The Way," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 28, 1970]