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The Telephone: From One Era To Another

1104 words - 4 pages

The modern version of the telephone has significantly evolved from its simplistic beginnings. What allows us to communicate with the world at any hour; minute and second of the day only exhibits how significant the invention has been. It is one of the most widely used electronic devices in today’s society. Over time research has not only led to the development of different versions of the phone, but to the implementation of modern features such as tones, caller id’s, dialing, call tracing and allowing a person to listen to music while on hold.
Alexander Graham Bell was born in March of 1847 in Edinburgh to a family whose life revolved around sound, speech and communication (Stern and Gwathmey 1). In the beginning of the second decade of the rule of Queen Victoria, Britain was entering an age of industrial expansion, with science on the rise. Bell at a young age proved to be quite the gentlemen. His training in etiquette and public speaking served him well throughout life. It was during a visit to the London workshop of Sir Charles Wheatstone, he discovered the scientist’s invention of the speaking machine that fascinated him (Stern and Gwathmey 2). With curiosity and ambition he took a position as the professor of music and elocution, (the study and art of speaking clear) at a boarding school. Shortly thereafter tragedy struck in the Bell family and fearing further loss the family relocated to Brantford, Ontario in 1870. Bell spent a short time in Canada and quickly found his love of life in Boston. Bell began teaching deaf children and it was there he met Thomas Sanders and Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Little did Bell know these two men would play a prominent role in the patent of the telephone and direction his life would take (Stern and Gwathmeny 5).
When Bell was not teaching, he took a strong interest in the telegraph, which was introduced in 1844 by Samuel F.B Morse. Despite the web of wires crisscrossing the country he felt as if there was a better solution rather than operators having to deliver and translate messages, and soon realized it might be possible to transmit voice over a wire by using electricity (Stern and Gwathmeny 5). Around this time Bell arrived at his invention of the “harmonic telegraph” which gave one the ability to send more than one message at a time over a telephone wire (Todd Jr.). Competition was fierce and history became known to be harsh when crediting winners and losers at this point in history. Bell became friends with a man named Thomas Watson who soon proved to be mechanically clever enough to complete the project Bell had presented to him via blueprints (Stern and Gwathmey 5). Bell’s thought was that if he could make a current of electricity vary in intensity, precisely as the air varies in density during the production of sound, he should be able to transmit speech telegraphically. Following his concept came patent number 174,465 filed on February fourteenth 1876 in Washington DC (Shulman 30). This...

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