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Short history of the telephone

Short history of the telephone


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Established in Canada two years earlier, the Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell, made aware of the deafness problems of his mother and his wife, founded in 1872 a school for the hearing impaired. He also undertook work on the transmission of sounds. But Bell is not alone in conducting this research. Since 1849, the Italian-American inventor Antonio Meucci has also been studying a prototype of what he calls "the telettrofono". In 1871, he filed a patent, without having tested his invention. Three years later, he contacted the famous Western Union telegraph company, so that they could help him market his device. Unfortunately for him, the company does not follow up. After years of research to transform sound waves into electrical pulses, Bell in turn filed a patent in the United States on February 14, 1876, just hours before another inventor, Elisha Gray! But then again, neither of the two prototypes actually works. It was not until March 10, 1876 that the first telephone transmission took place. That day, Bell succeeds in "calling" his collaborator who stayed on the ground floor from his office and pronounces the following sentence: "Mr. Watson, please come to my office, please." Alexander Graham Bell officially presents his "telephone" in Philadelphia, in June 1876, on the occasion of the exhibition celebrating the centenary of the founding of the United States. On his return, he moved for the summer to his father's home in Brantford (Ontario) and took the opportunity to "rent" a telegraph line and thus make the first "long distance" telephone transmission to Paris, a small village in the Ontario located 13 km away. In the age of the Internet, digital phones and laptops, the hustle and bustle of the beginnings of this extraordinary invention may seem trivial. But by a curious return of things, the good old "old fashioned" telephones with keys, wire or dial, are in the process of returning to the front of the stage thanks to the fashion of vintage or pop decoration. - A little reminiscent of the famous Rolling Stones logo, it is thus possible to find telephones in the shape of mouths with keys (€ 37.50 at www.singulier.com). - Very girly and bordering on kitsch, the pink fur phone with touch dial (€ 29.90 on www.bathroomgraffiti.com). - More classic is the black dial telephone with bis key and handsfree (€ 49.90 always on www.bathroomgraffiti.com). - A vintage must is the redesigned red telephone from an original model with base hiding a digital keyboard and a redial key (€ 69 on www.cerisesurladeco.com). - A special nod to the Thomson Symbio, released last February, superb cordless digital phone with very clean lines resting on a base reminiscent of old devices, and even offering an Internet connection (€ 142 at www.darty.com ). - Finally, for communication addicts via the Internet, USB handsets use the good old "papa" model for dialogue via Skype (€ 34.90 at La Chaise Longue www.lachaiselongue.fr).