THE TELEPHONE Its History, Construction, Principles, and Uses, with Definite Instructions on the Making of Telephones, (By Which Failure Is Impossible),

THE TELEPHONE Its History, Construction, Principles, and Uses, with Definite Instructions on the Making of Telephones, (By Which Failure Is Impossible),

by Samuel Garner

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An excerpt from the beginning of the first chapter:


The word Telephone is derived from two Greek words— tele—distant, and phone—voice; and so may be applied to any instrument which enables us to hear the voice at a further distance than it can be heard by ordinary means.

The name is specially applicable to the instrument just invented by Dr. Bell, by means of which the voice is repeated at the distance of hundreds of miles.

With respect to this instrument, I find all sorts of errors afloat, some of which I thought impossible in this age of Schools and School Boards. It would be easy to practice on the credulity of a great many with it. Mr. Williams's speaking chip was not regarded with more superstitious reverence by the barbarous people among whom he laboured than is the Telephone by several educated people with whom I have come in contact. One lady fancied with one of these instruments in her pocket, she could at will hold converse with friends in distant countries, or with those who were dead! A great number believe the first part of this statement. Others, again, think it only a kind of speaking tube, and will scarcely believe when shewn that there is not some small tube through the wire, by which, in some mystical manner, the sound is conveyed to the other end. A far greater number, however, confound it with the toy Telephone now selling so much. In this toy Telephone we have two chip or tin boxes, with one end in each, covered with parchment, and connected with each other by a piece of thin string, or for longer distances, by thin wire. It will be evident that if one end is made to vibrate and the string held tight, the other membrane will be pulled by the string and vibrate in exactly the same way. If one person, therefore, speak through the open end of one box against the parchment, and another person place the open end of the other over his ear—keeping the string tight— the softest whisper may be heard, and so may be made the source of much amusement. This is one of the oldest Telephones, and was used among the Indians, it is said, some hundreds of years ago.

Wheatstone, in a similar manner, and knowing the readiness with which strings, &c, take up the vibrations which they themselves emit when sounding, managed to make several pianos in different rooms repeat the music of another. He had all the pianos tuned to exactly the same pitch, and then joined the piano played to the others by strips of wood, and the strings in these latter readily took up the vibrations of the instrument played, and thus fairly repeated the music.

Everyone, I dare say, has noticed how, when he has spoken into a piano, many of the strings have been caused to vibrate, and no doubt if there were sufficient strings of varying lengths to represent all the sounds made by the inflection of the voice when speaking, we should have a fair repetition of what was said.

Before commencing the history of the Telephone proper, or the Electric Telephone, it will be necessary to give a description of the different kinds of currents that have been employed in these researches. These are of three kinds:—1st, the Intermittent; 2nd, the Pulsatory; 3rd, the Undulatory. In the first, the current is alternately broken and closed. In the second, there is a continuous flow of the current, but it is increased and diminished in regular pulses. In the third, there is a gradual increase and decrease of the current in a wave-like manner—the undulations increasing imperceptibly to their greatest amplitude, and then subsiding in the same way to their minimum. As in every circuit there is the direct or positive current, and the reversed or negative, we may say there are the three kinds of the positive current and three of the negative current. These currents may be rendered more clear, I think, by representing the positive current by the space above a line, and the negative by a similar space below a line.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015618587
Publisher: Leila's Books
Publication date: 09/23/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 621 KB

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