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1881 __ Telephone developments over the globe
Comment : In France the telephone was, at an early stage in its history, the subject of much interest to scientific men. Du Moncel was one of the first in Europe to write a treatise upon it. This was translated into English and was for a time the standard work. Though published in 1879, it contains no reference to the exchange system. At a later stage when exchanges and trunk lines were making rapid progress it is to French literature that we have also to look for their earliest record. Wietlisbach in Switzerland had written upon Industrial Telephony, but mainly with a technical application. Brault in Paris about the same period (1888) published his ' Histoire de la Telephonic et Exploitation des Telephones en France et a l'Etranger,' in which the industrial features had the greater prominence. His work stood alone then in its record of world progress and is of much value for reference now. On the practical side Ader made a modification in the Bell instrument, and whether by reason of the modification or from any improvement in manufacture his receiver was much appreciated in European markets. He also produced a transmitter following closely the carbon pencil form of Hughes' microphone, which was one of the best of that kind. But whilst scientists devoted attention to the telephone as an instrument, in France, as elsewhere in Europe, the exchange system was developed under American auspices. The rivalry of Bell and Edison was extended to Paris, but Gower had to some extent forestalled them, and received the first concession which applied to Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Lille, and Nantes. The Bell interests received a concession for Paris only, whilst the Edison interests were so fortunate as to cover the same cities as Gower. All these concessions were combined into one ownership in the Societe Generate des Telephones on December 10, 1880, and (except Paris and Lyons) only after that date were the exchanges proceeded with.In Germany interest in the telephone was enhanced by the prior work of Reis. Patriotism is not a reliable aid to the investigation of scientific claims, but though unfruitful and forgotten, Reis had made experiments and constructed apparatus which he called a telephone, and these were sufficient to enable patriotic Germans to feel a proprietary interest in the invention. On October 4, 1877, von Stephan, Director of Telegraphs, wrote to Bismarck that he had established communication between his office in Berlin and the suburb of Friederichsburg. He intimated also that he contemplated at once a practical application of the new invention in the Imperial Telegraph Service, proposing the connection by telephone of country post offices to which the telegraph service had not yet been extended. By the end of 1877 fifteen villages had been so connected with the general telegraph system. The exchange system in Berlin was not inaugurated until April 1, 1881.The first exchange in Switzerland was that at Zurich, operated under a concession granted to a group of business men associated with the International Bell Telephone Company on July 24, 1880. During 1881 exchanges were opened in Geneva, Lausanne, and Winterthur by the Government, who also shortly after bought up the Zurich exchange. Fourteen exchanges were in operation at the end of 1883, and twice as many a year later.The first experiments in Belgium were made in 1878. A company was formed in Brussels in 1879, and others followed. Competition was recognised as unsatisfactory, and the various companies were encouraged to amalgamate. The Compagnie Beige du Telephone Bell was formed in 1882, this company being the Belgian subsidiary of the International Bell TelephoneCompany of New York.A similar company was formed in Holland under the name of the Nederlandsche Bell Telefoon Maatschappij in 1881. – In Austria the first exchange was established in Vienna in 1881 by the Vienna Private Telephone Company, but the exploitation was continued by a company under the auspices of the Edison-Gower Bell combination represented by the Consolidated Telephone Construction and Maintenance Company of London.In Italy the International Bell Telephone Company established exchanges in Milan, Turin, and Genoa, and exchanges in a dozen of the other largest cities were started in 1881 by other interests under the auspices of a group of Paris financiers.The International Bell Telephone Company was also responsible for the introduction of the telephone into Russia, Norway, and Sweden.Efforts to introduce the telephone into Spain were made by various interests until the Spanish concession became almost a byword amongst concession hunters. In 1885 exchanges were opened in Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia.In Portugal a concession was obtained and exchanges started by the Anglo-Portuguese Telephone Company under the auspices of the Edison-Go wer Bell interests previously referred to. The Lisbon exchange was opened on July 2, 1881, and that in Oporto in 1883.In India the development was undertaken by the Oriental Telephone Company, exchanges being opened in January 1882 at Calcutta, Rangoon, Madras, Bombay, and Colombo.The Telephone Company of Egypt (a subsidiary of the Oriental Company) established exchanges in Cairo and Alexandria in 1880.Amongst other early exchanges may be mentioned Honolulu (1880), Rio de Janeiro (1881), and Valetta, Malta (1883).In the Argentine Republic there were three sources of telephonic enterprise. One of local origin with a Belgian instrument known as the Pan-Telephone was introduced by Mr. Fels, another by the Tropical American Telephone Company, and a third by the River Plate Telephone and Electric Light Company, formed by the Consolidated Telephone Construction and Maintenance Company. The exchanges of the local Pan-Telephone Company and the Tropical American Company were combined under the name of the United River Plate Telephone Company, and this took over later the Consolidated Company's interests, forming the United Telephone Company of the River Plate, which now exists as one of the important foreign companies under British management.The introduction of the telephone into Australia was made under the Edison patents. Early in 1880 Mr. F. R. Welles of the Western Electric Manufacturing Company left New York for Australia, and in conjunction with a local firm Messrs. Masters & Draper established the Melbourne Telephone Exchange Company which made rapid progress. Efforts to obtain concessions in the other Australasian Colonies were less successful, but the attention of the local Governments having been drawn to the advantages of the exchange system, they shortly after established exchanges of their own, as did also the Government of New Zealand. ("THE TELEPHONE AND TELEPHONE EXCHANGES --THEIR INVENTION AND DEVELOPMENT", by J. E. KINGSBURY, London: LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO, 1915)
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