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1880 __ Téléphone acoustique d’Elgin
Comment : The Elgin Telephone Company of Elgin, Illinois, even offered an acoustic switchboard that could route calls to various locations. Unfortunately, few of these unusual telephones have survived, and most people are unaware that they even existed. (A. Edward Evenson, "The telephone patent conspiracy of 1876: the Elisha Gray-Alexander Bell controversy and its many players", Jefferson NC : MacFarland & Co, 2000, pp. 192-193)Mr. Hubbard, with a lasting faith in the future of the telephone, manufactured an acoustic switchboard, which, like all the rest of his patents, served to bridge over a short period in which development crowded so fast that inventors kept placing something more convenient before the public all the time. The acoustic switchboard was patented in 1881 at Elgin, Illinois, and it contained four transmitters and receivers. Connections were made from one to another by means of a hollow tube. A tight wire replaced the string which had hitherto been used. In connection with the Elgin acoustic was used the double ear vibrating bar, which conveyed sound by vibration. The first electric switchboard was made in Missouri about three years later. There were eight sections, composed of screws and bars, and eight trunk lines connecting one section with another. The switchboard is long out-of-date, , and a return to it would mean suicide for the telephone business. A little advance over the first electric switchboard was the Utica fire alarm system, which was used by the Illinois Mutual Company. (In Telephone magazine: an illustrated monthly magazine, Volume 25, 1905, p. 363)THE ELGIN TELEPHONE COMPANY. The exhibit of this firm was an acoustic telephone system, a model of the installation being on exhibition. The instrument is so constructed that the call, receiver and transmitter are all in one. It has no electrical connection. (In John Patrick Barrett, "Electricity at the Columbian Exposition: including an account of the exhibits in the Electricity Building, the power plant in Machinery Hall, the arc and incandescent lighting of the grounds and buildings ... etc", R. R. Donnelle)
French comment : Le "Milwaukee Sentinel" décrit le téléphone acoustique d'Elgin. C'est un appareil extrêmement simple et de construction très économique. En prenant le fil entre les dents, une personne tout à fait sourde peut entendre des paroles prononcées sur un ton peu élevé, l'effet produit étant le même qu'avec l'audiphone. (In "Faits divers", In "La Lumière Électrique)Journal Universel d'Électricité", 1e série, vol. 2, n°1-24, 1880, Paris : Union des syndicats de l'électricité, 15 juin 1880, No. 12, p. 248).
Source : "The Electrical world", Volumes 11 à 12, March 21 1888, p. 157 & p. 167.
Urls : http://cnum.cnam.fr/CGI/fpage.cgi?P84.2/260/100/542/0/0 (last visited ) http://lisawebworld2.tripod.com/textfiles/elecaudio.txt (last visited )

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