NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1840 __ An experiment of sound transmission
Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875)
Comment : Referring to the exhibition on the 26th November 1840, Mr. Chappell says : "having seen a huge coil of wire in the well of the staircase on entering Somerset House on that evening, after I had attended the meeting of the Cosiety of Antiquaries, I went up to the library and tea-room of the Royal Society to learn that had been going on. Wheastone pointed out to me a clock-face in the room. It was perfectly transparent, and had hands, but every one could see that there were no works within it. Yet the hands moved, and the clock-face ticked most audibly. He took me out on the staircase to hear the perfect simultaneity and the equal force of the tick with that of the clock in the hall below. It was the sound of that clock which had been conveyed through a coil of wire of some miles in length to the clock-face in the library on high. The sound above and the sound below were in perfect unison, and of absolute equality in force as well as of pitch. As this was the first electric clock, so Wheatstone was the first to employ the electric wire for the transmission of sounds, as well as to transmit them by rods without the use of electricity. After him, it became so much a matter of common sense that other kinds of sounds could be conveyed with or without the electric wire, that the Telephone has always appeared to me as the useful application of a well-known principle, rather than as an absolute novelty". (William Tegg, pp. 289-290)
Source : Tegg, William (ca. 1923), “Posts & Telegraphs, Past and Present - With an Account of the Telephone and Phonograph”, Read Books, 2009, pp. 289-290.

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