Local men at a barn raising, on the Scotch Line outside Perth, 135 years ago. The town of Perth was started as a military base in 1816, and by 1886, the year that the photo above was taken, more than 3,000 people lived there. Perth was the site of the first installation of a telephone other than the experimental lines by its inventor. Alexander Graham Bell. A local doctor was a friend of Bell’s and installed a telephone connection between his house and office. By 1886, there were 19 telephones in Perth. The switchboard was in the doctor’s office.