By John Murphy
Alexander Graham Bell's request for his assistant to 'come the following' revolutionized the best way America's voters communicated with each other. This booklet appears on the invention of the phone and its integration into society.
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Additional info for The Telephone: Wiring America (Building America: Then and Now)
When the current hit the reed on the receiving end, the reed would vibrate and cause the receiving- end parchment to vibrate as well. A listener whose ear was very close to the parchment would, in theory, hear the original sound clearly and accurately, in the very instant that it was spoken at the transmitter end. Watson was as good as his word and had the prototype telephones ready by the following evening. They tested it repeatedly, with mostly unsuccessful results. Watson claimed to be able to hear the tone of Bell’s voice through the receiver and the occasional isolated word.
Whatever the case, Hubbard’s offer was rejected. With increasing technical success and the fi rst spark of commercial interest, Hubbard sent Bell and Watson out on the road to demonstrate, publicize, and market their invention. They traveled throughout the Northeast, renting out lecture halls and telegraph wires, and charging admission. Bell would man the telephone receiver in the lecture hall, while Watson and some musicians would be stationed at least several miles away with the transmitter. ” Most of these demonstrations went well, and the audiences often included important businesspeople, politicians, scientists, and other influential men of society.
Fateful chance and happy accidents had nudged their work forward several times in the past, but luck seemed to have abandoned them. It was about to return, just when they needed it most and were in danger of losing the race to invent the telephone. THE FIRST TELEPHONE CALL On March 10, 1876, only two days after Bell appeared to shift his attention to variable resistance experiments, he and Watson shared the world’s very fi rst telephone conversation. Appropriately, it was achieved partly by design and partly by accident.