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Invention of the telephone

1878

Invention of the telephone

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  • Intro

    This book, entitled All About the Telephone and Phonograph, was published in 1878, the same year Thomas Edison patented his great invention the phonograph. Two years earlier, Alexander Graham Bell had invented the telephone. These inventions were to transform forever the way humans communicated with one another. For the first time in history, people could exchange ideas without being in the same space. Voices disconnected from the speaker's body, could travel across great distances, or be preserved on disc long after the speaker had spoken. The cover of the book shows Queen Victoria trying out the telephone for the first time.

     

    Shelfmark: 8765.a.4.

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  • Transcript

    All About the Telephone and Phonograph

    Original text:

     

    The telephone, an instrument by which sound can be conveyed to, it would appear, an unlimited distance—by which conversation can be carried on between persons separated by many miles of sea and land—is unquestionably one of the most marvellous of modern adaptations of scientific knowledge to practical use. The discovery and successful working of the electric telegraph has familiarised us with achievements of science which fifty years ago would have been considered miraculous, and a bare intimation of the possibility of which might, two or three centuries previously, have led the unfortunately ingenious speculator to the stake as a wizard. We can, and daily do, transmit messages to and fro between almost every part of the habitable globe [—messages which are not only read off by skilled operators as easily as the pages of a printed book, but are printed by the telegraph itself; and to that really amazing command of the forces of nature we now add the power of transmitting, by the Telephone, the tones of the human voice, distinct articulations, perfectly pronounced words, and musical sounds, to any distance to which the necessary wires may be extended; and, by the most recent adaptation of the instrument, the Phonograph, a message of any length can be spoken on to a plate of metal, that plate sent by post to any part of the world, and the message absolutely re-spoken in the very voice of the sender.

     

    So marvel follows marvel! Voice by Telegraph is followed by voice by Post-card, and the New Year heralds the Future with a new wonder.]

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