Birthday of a telephone apparatus is marked today
On March 7, 1876 in the United States, Alexander Bell (1847-1922) obtained a patent for the telephone apparatus that he invented, or, as the document reads, for the "improved model of telegraph". This date was chosen to celebrate the birthday of telephone set. Telephone (from the Greek tele "far, far away" and phone "sound") - a device that provides communication between subscribers by converting electrical vibrations into sound. Although the idea of telephony was developed in the middle of the 19th century by the mechanical engineer and vice-inspector of the Parisian telegraph Charles Bourseul (1829-1912), he did not reach the practical implementation of telephone communications. While working on the creation of the telegraph, Bell discovered that when an electrical signal originated in the telegraph apparatus, certain sounds appeared. This prompted him to think about creating a remote intercom. As a result, he was able to convert an audio signal (speech) into the analog electrical signal, and then transmit it over a certain distance and convert it back to audio (speech), and created the first device, which consisted of a small membrane and a signal horn to amplify sound. It had the form of a tube with a transmitter and a receiver. There were no battery, so due to the electrical signal, people could communicate over a short distance. Hence, it became the foretype of all telephones. On March 10, 1876, the first telephone conversation took place between the inventor of this type of communication, Alexander Bell, and his assistant, Thomas Watson. The distance at which two people could talk to each other was only 250 meters. Bell presented his apparatus to the public at the Exposition Universelle in Paris (1878).
Besides Bell, Charles Page and Philip Reis tried to create a telephone, but with no luck. Bell proved to be a more successful entrepreneur and even founded the Bell Telephone Company. Converting audio signals to analog was a real breakthrough in engineering.
To The Russian Empire telephones came by the end of the 19th century. In 1881, the first "royal" apparatuses were installed in the Gatchina Palace, and the following year the Winter Palace was equipped with telephones.
In 1885, the Russian inventor Golubitskiy developed the principle of the telephone switching exchange, which made it possible to connect thousands of subscribers. At the end of 1898, the longest Moscow-Petersburg telephone line in Europe was opened.
Since then, telephony was continuously improved, and nowadays a telephone has become an essential attribute of modern life.
The collection section "Automata" features Musical automaton "Gentleman on the phone", created by Henry Phalibois circa 1910 in Paris.
Figure of a man talking on the phone is fixed on wooden lacquered rectangular socle. Vintage telephone mounted in round wooden case with metal lyre-shaped bracket is located on small bamboo table next to him. A screen is in the background, three wings of which are covered with striped wall canvas. The painted landscapes in oval windows are on the screen lateral panels’ upper sections. The man holds a telephone receiver in his right hand. When the spring is winded and the lever is lever located on the socle right side, is pulled out, the figure starts to move - the head is turned from side to side, the right hand is raised, bringing the receiver to the ear. Mouth and eyes move. The curtain turns on the screen left wing, and another painted landscape closes the previous one. Then, in the same way, the landscape on the right wing is changed. The advertisement of the manufacturer's company - "PHILABOIS" illuminated from behind is opened in the center. After that, the man finishes conversation, his hand with the receiver descends and a trap door on the floor opens. A bellboy in red uniform jacket with golden buttons and red cap appears from the hatch. The boy holds in his hands cardboard sheet with the advertisement of the same company printed in black ink. After a few seconds, the hatch closes and the scene returns to the original position. The performance is accompanied by the sounds of musical mechanism with pinned cylinder and sound comb.
State public institution of the city of Moscow "System 112