What is the history of the telephone?

Telephones - 1876

The Gallows Telephone - Alexander Bells first attempt to produce a speaking telephone Failed.

The Centennial Transmitter -This instrument was a more refined version of the original Gallows Model. The hinged armature was replaced with an iron disk glued directly to the parchment diaphragm, which improved the instrument's performance. Worked

AT A GLANCE:

Probably no means of communication has revolutionized the daily lives of ordinary people more than the telephone. The actual history of the telephone is a subject of complex dispute. The controversy began with the success of the invention and continues today. Some of the inventors credited with inventing the telephone include Antonio Meucci, Philip Reis, Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell. Bell's experiments with his assistant Thomas Watson finally proved successful on March 10, 1876, when the first complete sentence was transmitted: "Watson, come here; I want you.".

THE STORY

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HOW IT WORKS

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Invention:

telephone on March 10, 1876

Definition:

noun / tel·e·phone

Function:

An instrument which converts sound, specifically the human voice, to electrical impulses of various frequencies and then back to a tone that sounds like the original voice.

Patent(s):

174,465 (US) issued March 7, 1876 filed February 14, 1876

161,739 (US) issued April 6, 1875 filed March 6, 1875

Inventor:

Alexander Graham Bell

Criteria;

First practical. Modern prototype. Entrepreneur.

Birth:

March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland

Death:

August 2, 1922, at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada

Nationality:

American

Milestones:

1831 Michael Faraday proved that vibrations of metal could be converted to electrical impulses

1861 Johann Philip Reis built a apparatus that changed sound to electricity and back again to sound

1871 Antonio Meucci filed his patent caveat (notice of intention to take out a patent)

1874 A. G. Bell while working on a multiple telegraph, developed the basic ideas for the telephon

1875 Bell files first patent for improved telegraphy

1876 Bell and Watson transmit the first complete sentence

1876 Bell files patent application on February 14,. patent issues March 7

1876 Elisha Gray filed his patent caveat (notice of intention to take out a patent) on February 14,

1877 formed Bell Telephone Company to operate local telephone exchange operation

1877 first city exchange installed in Hartford, Connecticut

1879 irst exchange outside the United States was built in London, England

1880 invented the photophone, which transmits speech by light rays

1882 acquired a controlling interest in the Western Electric Company, Elisha Gray's company

1883 irst exchange linking two major cities was established between New York and Boston

1885 formed American Telephone and Telegraph Company to operate the long distance network.

1888 coin operated pay telephone was patented by William Gray of Hartford, Connecticut

1891 first automatic telephone exchange was patented by Almon Strowger of Kansas City

1921 The Detroit Police Department, began experimentation with one-way vehicular mobile service.

1928 Detroit Police commenced regular one-way radio communication with all its patrol cars.

1933 Bayonne, NJ Police Department initiated regular two-way communications with its patrol cars

1936 Alton Dickieson, H.I. Romnes and D. Mitchell begin design of AT&T's mobile phone system

1940 Connecticut State Police began statewide two-way, on the frequency modulated (FM)

1941 FM mobile radio became standard throughout the country following the success in Connecticut

1946 A driver in St. Louis, Mo., placed a phone call,it was the first AT&T mobile telephone call.

1948 wireless telephone service was available in almost 100 cities and highway corridors.

1947 cellular telephone service conceived by D.H. Ring at Bell Labs, but the technology didn't exist

1962 The first commercial touch-tone phones were a big hit in their preview at Seattle World's Fair.

1970 commercial Picture phone service debuted in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1971 Richard Frenkiel and Joel Engel of AT&T applied computers and electronics to make it work.

1973 Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first cellphone call to his rival Joe Engel of AT&T Bell Labs

1978 AT&T conducted FCC-authorized field trials in Chicago and Newark, N.J.

1979 the first cellular network was launched in Japan.

1982 FCC granted commercial licenses to an AT&T subsidiary, Advanced Mobile Phone Service

1983 AMPS was then divided among the local companies as part of the planning for divestiture

1983 Illinois Bell opened the first commercial cellular system in October

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The Story:

Probably no means of communication has revolutionized the daily lives of ordinary people more than the telephone. Simply described, it is a system which converts sound, specifically the human voice, to electrical impulses of various frequencies and then back to a tone that sounds like the original voice. In 1831, Englishman Michael Faraday (1791-1867) proved that vibrations of metal could be converted to electrical impulses. This was the technological basis of the telephone, but no one actually used this system to transmit sound until 1861. In that year, Johann Philip Reis (1834-1874) in Germany is said to have built a simple apparatus that changed sound to electricity and back again to sound. A crude device, it was incapable of transmitting most frequencies, and it was never fully developed.

A practical telephone was actually invented independently by two men working in the United States, Elisha Gray and Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell. Incredibly, both men filed for a patent on their designs at the New York patent office on February 14, 1876, with Bell beating Gray by only two hours! Although Gray had built the first steel diaphragm / electromagnet receiver in 1874, he wasn't able to master the design of a workable transmitter until after Bell had. Bell had worked tirelessly, experimenting with various types of mechanisms, while Gray had become discouraged

According to the famous story, the first fully intelligible telephone call occurred on March 6, 1876, when Bell, in one room, called to his assistant in another room. "Come here, Watson, I want you."

Watson heard the request through a receiver connected to the transmitter that Bell had designed, and what followed after that is a history of the founding of the Bell Telephone Company (later AT&T), which grew to be the largest telephone company in the world.

The first telephone system, known as an exchange, which is a practical means of communicating between many people who have telephones, was installed in Hartford, Connecticut in 1877, and the first exchange linking two major cities was established between New York and Boston in 1883. The first exchange outside the United States was built in London in 1879. The exchange involved a group of operators working at a large switchboard. The operators would answer an incoming telephone call and connect it manually to the party being called. The first automatic telephone exchange was patented by Almon Strowger of Kansas City in 1891 and installed in 1892, but manual switchboards remained in common use until the middle of the twentieth century

How a telephone works.

The very simplest working telephone would look like this inside:

It consists of 3 parts:

A switch to connect and disconnect the phone from the network. This switch is generally called the hook switch. It connects when you lift the handset.

A speaker, which is generally a little 50 cent 8-ohm speaker of some sort.

A microphone. In the past, telephone microphones have been as simple as carbon granules compressed between two thin metal plates. Sound waves from your voice compress and decompress the granules, changing the resistance of the granules and modulating the current flowing through the microphone

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Patent No. 174,465 US issued March 7, 1876 to A. Graham Bell for the Telegraphy
  • In the first month of the Bell Telephone Company's existence in 1877, only six telephones were sold!
  • When Bell's patent was sixteen months old, there were 778 telephones in use.
  • Fifteen years after its invention in 1876, there were five million phones in America. Fifteen years after the invention of cellular phones, more than 33 million wireless phones were in the U.S.
  • During the depths of the Depression, telephones in use fell from 16 to 13 per 100 populations and by the late 1970's the number had surpassed 75 per 100 population.
  • It took the telephone 75 years and television 13 years to acquire 50 million users. It has taken the Internet five years. Today, more than 500 million people around the world are connected to the Internet.
  • In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes was the first US president to have a telephone installed in the White House. And to whom did the commander-in-chief place his first call? Alexander Graham Bell, of course, who was waiting for the call some 13 miles away from the White House. The president's first words were said to have been, "Please speak more slowly."
  • When Alexander Graham Bell died on August 4, 1922, millions of phones went dead. In Bell's honor, all phones served by the Bell System in the USA and Canada went silent for one minute.