NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1860 __ Musical notes transmitter — telephone
Johann Philipp Reis (1834-1874)
Comment : The Johann Philipp Reis’s first transmitter consisted of the bung of a beer barrel hollowed out in imitation of the external ear. The cup or mouth-piece thus formed was closed by the skin of a German sausage to serve as a drum or diaphragm. To the back of this he fixed, with a drop of sealing-wax, a little strip of platinum, representing the hammer- bone, which made and broke the metallic circuit of the current as the membrane oscillated under the sounds which impinged against it. The current thus interrupted was conveyed by wires to the receiver, which consisted of a knitting-needle loosely surrounded by a coil of wire fastened to the breast of a violin as a sounding-board. When a musical note was struck near the bung, the drum vibrated in harmony with the pitch of the note, the platinum lever interrupted the metallic circuit of the current, which, after traversing the conducting wire, passed through the coil of the receiver, and made the needle hum the original tone. This primitive arrangement, we are told, astonished all who heard it. [...] The first apparatus made by Reis, according to Dr. Messel, consisted of a beer barrel, in the bung-hole of which a small cone was placed, covered at its smaller end with an animal membrane, upon which a small platinum strip or wire was fastened by means of sealing-wax. The receiver consisted of a violin, upon which a knitting needle, having a coil wound round it, was fastened. The receiver was afterwards made in the form of the human ear. [...] The rapid magnetization and demagnetization of this iron wire produced sounds having the same frequency, and therefore the same pitch, as the note sung into the transmitter. Reis showed his apparatus for the first time to the Physical Society of Frankfurt in 1861. Much has been said and written as to whether Reis’s telephone was capable of transmitting words, or sounds only. That it transmitted words is proved by the following letter, which Reis wrote to F.J. Pisko: “The apparatus gives whole melodies in any part of the scale between C and c’’’ well, and I assure you, if you come and see me here, I will show you that words also can be made out”. Reis was well aware of the importance of his invention, which, at that time, was treated as a toy. [From Electricity in the service of Man - 1886]. In 1860 Philipp Reis produced a telephone which could transmit musical notes, and even a lisping word or two. (John Munro)
French comment : Johann Philipp Reis présente en 1860 un appareil, permettant de transmettre à distance les sons et la voix grâce au courant électrique. Cet appareil se compose de deux parties que Philipp Reis, dans un document de 1863 désigne par téléphone (émetteur) et appareil de reproduction (récepteur). Son beau-frère relate une expérience faite entre la maison et le jardin de Reis : « Une phrase a été prononcée dans l'appareil, du genre “Le soleil est de cuivre et le cheval ne mange pas de salade au concombre” » « Reis n'a pas compris précisément ce que le cheval mangeait et a cru entendre que le soleil était en sucre, mais l'expérience fut cependant convaincante. » Malgré une démonstration devant l'association de physique de Francfort en 1864, Reis n'a pas été considéré comme l'inventeur du téléphone. C'est dû au fait qu'il n'a pas réussi à vendre son projet et à améliorer son appareil afin de lui trouver une utilisation pratique. En revanche on lui doit le mot "téléphone".En 1860-1861 l'allemand Johann Philipp Reis construit un appareil qu'il nommait téléphone, mais cet appareil réussi à transmettre de la musique, mais pas la parole. Son appareil a été basée sur les théories du télégraphiste français Charles Bourseil, qui en 1854 a proposé un dispositif qui permettrait de faire ou de défaire un courant électrique sous l'influence d'un diaphragme. Pour ses premières expériences Reis utilisé une peau de saucisse tendue et une aiguille de fer ou d'une tige entourée par une bobine de fil. Il a transmettre des tons musicaux simples, mais ne pouvait pas gérer la complexité des formes d'onde de la voix humaine. (. (Compiled from various sources)
Source : Munro, John (1891), “Heroes of the Telegraph”, Published by BiblioBazaar, 2008, Chapter 7, p. 136, and Published by Icon Group International Inc (Webster’s French Thesaurus Edition), p. 124
Urls : http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/tech/engineering/HeroesoftheTelegraph/chap7.html (last visited ) http://people.clarkson.edu/~ekatz/scientists/reis.html (last visited ) http://members.lycos.co.uk/MikePenney/reisletter.htm (last visited ) http://members.lycos.co.uk/MikePenney/reis.htm (last visited )

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