World’s First Phony Phone Call
Newspaper article from 1884 recounts earliest known prank call.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: May 18th, 2012
t didn’t take long after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone for people to figure out one of its best uses: making prank phone calls. It seems that a man in Providence, Rhode Island may have been the first to make such a call, a mere eight years after Mr. Bell invented the telephone.
Paul Collins, an English professor at Portland State University, who calls himself "The Literary Detective," was perusing Google Books and came across the following item in the February 2, 1884 edition of The Electrical World:
"A GRAVE JOKE ON UNDERTAKERS — Some malicious wag at Providence R.I. has been playing a grave practical joke on the undertakers there, by summoning them over the telephone to bring freezers, candlesticks and coffin for persons alleged to be dead. In each case the denoument was highly farcical, and the reputed corpses are now hunting in a lively manner for that telephonist."
Quite a bit better than “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” and older too.