NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1831 __ Transmission of speech and music : Telephone
Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875)
Comment : [See above - 1823] In 1831 Wheatstone publishes a paper, which gives the results of many experiments and discusses the practical limitations to the transmission of sound over long distances. The end of the paper suggested that future progress lay in developing an artificial voice, which could produce speech and communicate it to a conductor with greater volume and greater efficiency of coupling then a human voice. Wheatstone considered the transmission of speech and music. He recognised that sound is propagated by waves or oscillations of the atmosphere, as light by undulations of the luminiferous ether. Water, and solid bodies, such as glass, or metal, or sonorous wood, convey the modulations with high velocity, and he conceived the plan of transmitting sound-signals, music, or speech to long distances by this means. He estimated that sound would travel 200 miles a second through solid rods, and proposed to telegraph from London to Edinburgh in this way. He even called his arrangement a « telephone ».
French comment : [...] lorsque nous visitâmes notre savant ami Wheastone qui nous avait fait voir à Bruxelles son premier télégraphe terrestre à aiguilles et à cadrans et son photomètre à rotation, et sa "concertina", et son stéréoscope, et son téléphone, et sa voix humaine factice, et bien d'autres choses curieuses de son invention ; [...] (Jean Baptiste Ambroise Marcellin Jobard, In "Les nouvelles inventions aux expositions universelles", Volume 2, Bruxelles & Leipzig : Émile Flatau, Ancienne maison Mayer et Flatau, 1858, p. 174)
Source : McVeigh, Daniel P. (2000), “An Early History of the Telephone 1664-1865”, electronic publication, with the help of Jean Gagnon, Daniel Langlois Foundation, and Don Foresta, MARCEL, 2000.
Urls : http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/projects/bluetelephone/html/part4.html (last visited )

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