Who Invented The Telephone?

Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson made an important discovery, by accident, on June 2, 1875. While working on their ‘harmonic telegraph’. Watson inadvertently plucked a reed that had been tightly wound around the pole of its electromagnet, producing a twang that Bell heard on a second device next door.

Meanwhile, Elisha Gray, co-founder of Western Electric Company, was working on, as his patent put it, “Transmitting Vocal Sounds Telegraphically.” Gray had been using liquid transmitters in his telephone experiments for more than two years; an innovation which mysteriously turned up in Bell’s technology after Gray filed his patent...

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly uncover how Bell’s deaf wife and mother inspired his interest in the human voice; reveal Queen Victoria’s thoughts on being presented with the new technology; and declare which of the two men was the ‘Tesla’ of the race to invent the telephone…

Further Reading:

• ‘Ahoy! Alexander Graham Bell and the first telephone call’ (Science Museum): https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/ahoy-alexander-graham-bell-and-first-telephone-call

• The Invention and Evolution of the Telephone (ThoughtCo, 2021): https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-telephone-alexander-graham-bell-1991380

• ‘The life and work of Alexander Graham Bell (dramatisation)’ (BBC Teach, 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n_5jG_9fAE

#Victorian #Inventions #Technology

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.

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