Saturday, March 10, 2007

Timeline of the telephone (1876-1878)

11 February 1876 Elisha Gray invents liquid transmitter for use with a telephone, but does not build one.
14 February 1876 (about 9:30 am) Gray or his lawyer brings to the Patent Office Gray's caveat for the telephone. (A caveat was like a patent application without claims to notify the patent office of an invention in process.)
14 February 1876 (about 11:30am) Bell's lawyer brings to the Patent Office Bell's patent application for the telephone. Bell's lawyer requested that it be registered immediately in the cash receipts blotter.
Two hours later Elisha Gray's caveat was registered in the cash blotter. Although his caveat was not a full application, Gray could have converted it into a patent application, but did not do so because of advice from his lawyer and involvement with acoustic telegraphy. The result was that the patent was awarded to Bell. [1]
7 March 1876 Bell's US patent 174,465 for the telephone is granted.
10 March 1876 Bell transmits speech "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." using a liquid transmitter described in Gray's caveat and an electromagnetic receiver described in Gray's July 1875 US patent 166,095.
16 May 1876 Thomas Edison files first patent application for acoustic telegraphy for which US patent 182,996 was granted October 10, 1876.
10 August 1876 Alexander Bell makes worlds first long distance telephone call between Brantford and Paris, Ontario Canada.
October 1876 Thomas Edison tests his first carbon microphone.
20 January 1877 Edison "first succeeded in transmitting over wires many articulated sentences" using carbon granules as a pressure sensitive variable resistance under the pressure of a diaphragm (Josephson, p143).
30 January 1877 Bell's US patent 186,787 is granted for an electro-magnetic telephone using permanent magnets, iron diaphragms, and a call bell.
4 March 1877 Emile Berliner invents a microphone based on "loose contact" between two metal electrodes, an improvement on the Reis telephone, and in April 1877 files a caveat of an invention in process.
27 April 1877 Thomas Edison files telephone patent application. The US patents (474,230, 474,231 and 474,231) were awarded to Edison in 1892 over the competing claims of Alexander Graham Bell, Emile Berliner, Elisha Gray, A E Dolbear, J W McDonagh, G B Richmond, W L W Voeker, J H Irwin and Francis Blake Jr.[2]
Edison's carbon granules transmitter and Bell's electromagnetic receiver were used, with improvements, by the Bell system for many decades thereafter (Josephson, p 146).

4 June 1877 Emile Berliner files telephone patent application that includes a carbon microphone transmitter.
December 1, 1877 Western Union enters the telephone business using Thomas Edison's superior carbon microphone transmitter.
January 1878 First North American telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut.
4 February 1878 Thomas Edison demonstrates telephone between Menlo Park, New York and Philadelphia, a distance of 210 km.
14 June 1878 The Telephone Company Ltd (Bell's Patents) registered, London. Opened in London 21 August 1879 - Europe's first telephone exchange.
September 12, 1878 The Bell Telephone Co. sues Western Union for infringing Bell's patents.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Timeline of the telephone (1879-1919)

Early months of 1879 The Bell Telephone Co. is near bankruptcy and desperate to get a transmitter to equal Edison's carbon transmitter.
1879 Bell merges with the New England Telephone Company to form the National Bell Telephone Company.
1879 Francis Blake invents a carbon transmitter similar to Edison's that saves the Bell company from extinction.
2 August 1879 The Edison Telephone Company of London Ltd, registered. Opened in London 6 September 1879.
10 September 1879 Connolly and McTighe patent a "dial" telephone exchange (limited in the number of lines to the number of positions on the dial.).
1880 National Bell merges with others to form the American Bell Telephone Company.
1882 A telephone company --an American Bell affiliate-- is set up in Mexico City.
1885 American Telephone and Telegraph Company AT&T is formed.
1886 Gilliland's Automatic circuit changer is put into service between Worcester and Leicester allowing for the first Operator dialing allowing one operator to run two exchanges.
13 January 1887 the Government of the United States moves to annul the patent issued to Alexander Graham Bell on the grounds of fraud and misrepresentation. Bell remanded for trial.
1889 AT&T becomes the overall holding company for all the Bell companies.
November 2, 1889 A. G. Smith patents a telegraph switch which provides for trunks between groups of selectors allowing for the first time, fewer trunks than there are lines, and automatic selection of an idle trunk.
10 March 1891 Almon Strowger patents the Strowger switch the first Automatic telephone exchange.
30 October 1891 The Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange company is formed.
3 May 1892 Thomas Edison awarded patents for the carbon microphone against applications lodged in 1877.
3 November 1892 The first Strowger switch goes into operation in LaPorte, Indiana with 75 subscribers and capacity for 99.
27 February 1901 United States Court of Appeal declares void Emile Berliner's patent of the Bell telephone system
1915 Vacuum tubes used in coast-to-coast telephone circuits.
25 January 1915 First transcontinental telephone call, with Thomas Watson at 333 Grant Avenue in San Francisco receiving the call from Alexander Graham Bell at 15 Day Street in New York City.[1]
1919 AT&T installs the first dial telephones in the Bell System, in Norfolk, Virginia. The last manual telephones in the system were not converted to dial until 1978 when the last of the first bell phones were no longer made.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

South American

Main article: Argentine telephone numbering plan

Country Code: 54
International Call Prefix: 00

Main article: Brazilian telephone numbering plan
Country Code: 55
International Call Prefix: 00 xx

In Brazil, long distance and international dialing requires the use of carrier selection codes, after the trunk code or international access code. The places where these codes are inserted are shown here by "xx" Some of these codes are:

15 for Telefónica
21 for Embratel
23 for Intelig
31 for Telemar
Area codes are distributed geographically (See List of Brazilian area codes for a list). National dialing is prefixed with 0 (the trunk code) followed by the carrier code (see above) then the area code and the number. For example, to call Rio de Janeiro from another city in Brazil, one would dial the trunk code '0', a two-digit code, the area code '21' and the subscriber's number. Consequently, a Rio de Janeiro number would be displayed in Brazil as

0xx21 nnnn nnnn.
A few areas use nnn-nnnn in lieu of nnnn nnnn, such as Natal (the area code for that state is '84', in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in northeastern Brazil. However, this practice will be phased out in 2006.

Mobile phone numbers are within the normal area codes but prefixed with the digit '7', '8' or '9'. They generally have eight digits (including the 7/8/9). Exceptions exist in Brasilia.

Main article: Colombian telephone numbering plan
Country Code: 57
International Call Prefix: 00

Country Code: 593

Mobile: 9
Azuay: 7
Bolivar: 3
Cañar: 7
Carchi: 6
Chimborazo: 3
Cotopaxi: 3
El Oro: 7
Esmeraldas: 6
Galapagos: 5
Guayas: 6
Imbabura: 6
Loja: 7
Los Rios: 5
Manabi: 5
Morona Santiago: 7
Napo: 6
Orellana: 6
Pastaza: 3
Pichincha: 2
Sucumbios: 6
Tungurahua: 3
Zabora Chinchipe: 7
Ambulance Service: 101
Fire Dept: 102
Emergency: 101
International access code: 00

Country Code: 51

Most area codes in Peru changed on 1 March 2003, providing an area code for each region (national subdivision).

Peruvian area codes are 2 digits long except for Lima (area code 1).

Also on that date, '9' was prepended to existing mobile numbers. Mobile subscriber numbers are now 8 digits in Lima (+51 1 9xxx xxxx) and 7 digits elsewhere (+51 xx 9xx xxxx).

103 is the telephone information number
105 is the Police Emergency Number
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_numbering_in_the_Americas"

Central American

[edit] Mexico
Country Code: 52

In 1999 Mexico introduced the following new prefixes for use when making long distance calls from telephones in Mexico:

00 - international direct dialing (00 + country code + nat'l number)
including USA and Canada.
01 - domestic direct dialing (01 + area code + number)
02 - domestic operator dialing (02 + area code + number)
09 - international operator dialing (09 + country code + number)
including USA and Canada.
These codes are not used when calling Mexico from other contries. Such calls should be dialed using whatever international call prefix (such as +, 00, or 011) is required when making international calls from the country where the call originates.)

Mexican area codes are 3 digits long, except for Mexico City (55), Monterrey (81), Guadalajara (33) and their respective outlying areas.

Likewise, local numbers are 7 digits long, while Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara use 8 digit numbers. 8 digit numbers are commonly written two ways:

xxxx xxxx
xx xx xx xx
When dialed within its local area, calling-party-pays mobile phone numbers have a designated prefix: 044 - mobile phone (044 + area code + number) For example, when calling within area code 33, a Guadalajara mobile phone would be dialed as: 044 33 xxxx xxxx This prefix is dropped when the number is dialed from another city in Mexico and the domestic prefix 01 is used since calling-party-pays calls can only be made when the mobile subscriber is being called from the same local area. This regulation changed since November 8, 2006, enabling calling-party-pays nationwide (prefix 045). However, some telco operators have refused the new scheme. Outside the country, mobiles are dialed in the same way as regular lines: +52 33 xxxx xxxx

It is common to see businesses with multiple lines on the same telephone exchange list their alternate lines without repeating the common numbers. For example, "(55) xxxx xx10, 19, 22 y 24" would signify a series of lines in Mexico City:

(55) xxxx xx10
(55) xxxx xx19
(55) xxxx xx22
(55) xxxx xx24

North American Numbering Plan

Country Code: 1
International Call Prefix: 011

In the United States (including its territories), Canada, Bermuda, and 16 Caribbean nations, area codes are regulated by the North American Numbering Plan. Currently, all area codes (officially called numbering plan areas) in the NANP must have 3 digits. Despite being one numbering plan, the cost of calling numbers in the NANP (both from inside and from outside) can vary wildly depending on which country of the NANP the code is in. As a result, great care is needed on the part of a caller to avoid unexpectedly large bills.

Not all area codes correspond to a geographical area. Codes 8xx (excluding 811 and 899) with the last two digits matching, such as 800, 888, 877, 866, etc., are reserved for toll-free calls. Code 900 is reserved for premium-rate calls (also known as dial-it services, although such services also exist in some places on a local basis using a particular three-digit prefix following the area code, often "976" or "540"). Area code 710 is reserved for the United States Government. Area code 600 is reserved for national Canadian services.

Mobile phones are allocated numbers within regular geographic area codes corresponding to or close to the subscriber's home or work location, instead of within a distinctive subset of area codes (e.g. 07xxx in the UK) and all the extra costs of mobile telephony must be borne by the mobiles owner (unlike in many countries where calling mobiles costs significantly more than calling landlines). Local number portability (LNP) applies across landline and mobile services. In some regions, customer can port a landline number to mobile service and vice-versa.

Dialing plans vary from place to place depending on whether an area has overlays (multiple area codes serving the same area) and whether the state requires toll alerting (a leading 1+ for toll calls.) The NANPA web site includes dialing plan information in their information on individual area codes.

In areas without overlays and without toll alerting, including much of California, Illinois, New York (excluding New York City, see below), and New Jersey, calls within an area code are dialed as seven digits (7D) and calls outside the area code as 1 followed by 10 digits (1+10D). Most areas allow permissive dialing of 1+10D even for calls that could be dialed as 7D. The number of digits dialed is unrelated to whether a call is local or toll.

In areas without overlays and with toll alerting, including most rural states, local calls within the same area code are dialed as 7D, toll calls are dialed as 1+10D. In some places, local calls to other area codes are 1+10D, in others they can be dialed as 10D without the leading 1.

In areas with overlays, local calls are all dialed as 10D. (In New York City, the preferred form is 1+10D but 10D also works.) In areas without toll alerting, all calls to numbers within the caller's area code and overlay codes serving the same area can be dialed as either 10D or 1+10D, while calls to other area codes must be 1+10D. In areas with toll alerting, all toll calls must be dialed as 1+10D.

Most areas permit local calls to be dialed as 1+10D except for Texas which requires that callers know which numbers are local and which are toll, dialing 10D for all local calls and 1+10D for all toll calls. The current profusion of dialing plans is quite confusing, and it appears likely that all areas will converge on 1+10D even in places where other forms are permitted.

Mobile phone users in North America are not generally required to dial 1, but do need to dial 10D for all calls within the North America numbering plan.

The Bell Telephone Hour

The Bell Telephone Hour was a musical-themed television series which aired on NBC from 1959 to 1968. It was telecast in color. Adapted from the radio series of the same name which ran on the NBC radio network from 1940 to 1958, The Bell Telephone Hour showcased the best in classical and Broadway music each week.

For much of the early part of its run, the show didn't have a weekly time slot; it usually had to share with another program, meaning it aired every other week.

By the mid-1960s, however, it had received a weekly time slot, usually on Friday or Saturday evenings. It became noted for its Christmas specials frequently featuring opera stars as well as stars of musical theater and ballet. In the fall of 1965, the show was switched to an earlier time slot - Sundays at 6:30 P.M. In 1967, the format changed from a videotaped and mostly musical presentation to filmed documentaries about classical musicians made on location. One of the most notable documentary programs combined a tour of the Prado, in Spain, with performances by such noted Spanish musicians as Andrés Segovia, Alicia de Larrocha, and Victoria de los Angeles. Another was a profile of Cleveland Orchestra conductor George Szell. This one was not a biography of Szell, but a documentary showing how he worked with the orchestra.

One of the last, and most notable episodes done in the videotape format, was "First Ladies of Opera", featuring Joan Sutherland, Leontyne Price, Renata Tebaldi and Birgit Nilsson, all on one program.

The name of the program was derived from its sponsor, Bell Telephone. Throughout its run, on both radio and television, the studio orchestra on the program was conducted by Donald Voorhees.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Timeline of the telephone (1849-1875)

1849 Antonio Meucci demonstrates a device later called a telephone to individuals in Havana. (It is disputed if this is an electric telephone, but is said to involve direct transmission into the body.)
1854 Charles Bourseul publishes a description of a make-break telephone transmitter and receiver but does not construct a working instrument.
1854 Antonio Meucci demonstrates an electric voice operated device in New York, but it is not clear what kind of device he demonstrated.
1860 Johann Philipp Reis demonstrates a make-break transmitter after the design of Bourseul and a knitting needle receiver. Witnesses said they heard human voices being transmitted.
1861 The German Philipp Reis manages transfer voice electrically over a distance of 340 feet, see Reis' telephone.
1864 In an attempt to give his musical automaton a voice, Innocenzo Manzetti invents the 'Speaking telegraph'. He shows no interest in patenting his device, but it is reported in newspapers.
1865 Meucci reads of Manzetti's invention and writes to the editors of two newspapers claiming priority and quoting his first experiment in 1849. He writes "I do not wish to deny Mr. Manzetti his invention, I only wish to observe that two thoughts could be found to contain the same discovery, and that by uniting the two ideas one can more easily reach the certainty about a thing this important." If he reads Meucci's offer of collaboration, Manzetti does not respond.
1871 Antonio Meucci files a patent caveat (a statement of intention to patent).
1872 Elisha Gray founds Western Electric Manufacturing Company.
1872 Prof Vanderwyde demonstrated Reis's telephone in New York.
July 1873 Thomas Edison notes variable resistance in carbon grains due to pressure, builds a rheostat based on the principle but abandons it because of its sensitivity to vibration.
May 1874 Gray invents electromagnet device for transmitting musical tones. Some of his receivers use a metallic diaphragm.
December 29, 1874 Gray demonstrates his musical tones device and transmitted "familiar melodies through telegraph wire" at the Presbyterian Church in Highland Park, Illinois.
2 June 1875 Alexander Graham Bell transmits the sound of a plucked steel reed using electromagnet instruments.
1 July 1875 Bell uses a bi-directional "gallows" telephone that was able to transmit "indistinct but voicelike sounds" but not clear speech. Both the transmitter and the receiver were identical membrane electromagnet instruments.
1875 Thomas Edison experiments with acoustic telegraphy and in November builds an electro-dynamic receiver but does not exploit it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Timeline of the telephone (1927-2007)

1927 First public trans-atlantic phone call (via radio)
1935 First telephone call around the world.
1941 Touch Tone dialing introduced for operators in Baltimore, Maryland
1946 National numbering plan (area codes)
1946 First commercial mobile phone call
1946 Bell Labs develops the germanium point contact transistor
1947 December, D. H. Ring, a Bell Labs engineer, proposed hexagonal cells for mobile phones.
1948 Phil Porter, a Bell Labs engineer, proposed that cell towers be at the corners of the hexagons rather than the centers and have directional antennas pointing in 3 directions.
1951 Direct Distance Dialing (DDD) first offered at Englewood, New Jersey, to 11 selected major cities across the United States; this service grew rapidly across major cities during the 1950s
1955 The laying of trans-Atlantic cables began
1958 Modems used for direct connection via voice phone lines
1960 ESS-1
1961 Touch-tone released to public
1962 T-1 service in Skokie, Illinois
1960's Bell Labs developed the electronics for cellular phones.
1970 ESS-2 electronic switch.
1970 Modular telephone cords and jacks introduced
1970 Amos Joel of Bell Labs invented the "call handoff" system for "cellular mobile communication system"
1971 AT&T submitted a proposal for cellular phone service to the FCC.
1973 April 3, Motorola employee Martin Cooper placed the first hand-held cell phone call to rival Joel Engel, head of research at AT&T's Bell Labs, while talking on the first Motorola DynaTAC prototype.
1975 Last manual telephone switchboard in Maine is retired
1978 Bell Labs launched a trial of the first commercial cellular network in Chicago using AMPS.
1982 FCC approved AT&T proposal for Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) and allocated frequencies in the 824-894 MHz band.
1982 Caller ID patented by Carolyn Doughty, Bell Labs
1987 ADSL introduced
1990 Analog AMPS was superseded by Digital AMPS.
1993 Telecom Relay Service available for the disabled
1995 Caller ID implemented nationally in USA
2002 Antonio Meucci was recognized as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States House of Representatives, in House Resolution 269, dated 11 June. The Parliament of Canada retaliated by passing a bill recognizing Canadian immigrant Alexander Graham Bell as the only inventor of the telephone.
2005 Mink, Louisiana gets phone service (Last in the USA)
2004 VoIP created

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The telephone

Philipp Reis imagined that electricity could be propagated through space, as light can, without the aid of a material conductor, and he performed some experiments on the subject. The results were described in a paper, "On the Radiation of Electricity," which, in 1859, he posted to Professor Poggendorff; for insertion in the then well-known periodical, Annalen der Physik. The manuscript was declined, to the great disappointment of the sensitive young teacher.
Philipp Reis had studied the organs of hearing, and the idea of an apparatus for transmitting sound by means of electricity had been floating in his mind for years. Incited by his lessons on physics, he attacked the problem, and was rewarded with success. In 1860, he constructed the first prototype of a telephone, covering a distance of 100 m. In 1862 he again tried Poggendorff, with an account of his "Telephon" as he called it; but his second offering was rejected like the first. The learned professor, it seems, regarded the transmission of speech by electricity as a chimera; but Philipp Reis, bitterly, attributed the failure to his being "only a poor schoolmaster."
Reis had difficulty in interesting people in Germany in his invention despite demonstrating it to (among others) Wilhelm von Legat, Inspector of the Royal Prussian Telegraph Corps in 1862 (Legat, 1862). It aroused more interest in the United States In 1872, Prof Vanderwyde demonstrated Reis's device in New York where it was seen by Thomas Edison, and possibly officials of Western Union and Alexander Graham Bell. Bell, Edison and Berliner drew on Reis's device as a starting point in their subsequent development of components of the telephone.

Previous experimenters
Since the invention of the telephone, attention has been called to the fact that, in 1854, M. Charles Bourseul, a French telegraphist, had conceived a plan for conveying sounds and even speech by electricity. "Suppose," he explained, "that a man speaks near a movable disc sufficiently flexible to lose none of the vibrations of the voice; that this disc alternately makes and breaks the currents from a battery: you may have at a distance another disc which will simultaneously execute the same vibrations.... It is certain that, in a more or less distant future, speech will be transmitted by electricity. I have made experiments in this direction; they are delicate and demand time and patience, but the approximations obtained promise a favourable result."
Bourseul deserves the credit of being perhaps the first to devise an electric telephone and try to make it; but Philipp Reis deserves the honor of first realising the idea as a device to transmit and receive sounds electrically.
Bourseul's idea seems to have attracted little notice at the time, and as soon forgotten. Even the Count du Moncel, who was ever ready to welcome a promising invention, evidently regarded it as a fantastic notion. It is very doubtful if Philipp Reis had ever heard of it. He was led to conceive a similar apparatus by a study of the mechanism of the human ear, which he knew to contain a membrane vibrating due to sound waves, and communicating its vibrations through the hammer-bone behind it to the auditory nerve. It therefore occurred to him, that if he made a diaphragm to imitate this membrane and caused it, by vibrating, to make and break the circuit of an electric current, he would be able through the magnetic power of the interrupted current to reproduce the original sounds at a distance.
In 1837–1838 Professor Page, of Massachusetts, had discovered that a needle or thin bar of iron, placed in the hollow of a coil or bobbin of insulated wire, would emit an audible 'tick' at each interruption of a current, flowing in the coil, and that if these separate ticks followed each other fast enough, by a rapid interruption of the current, they would run together into a continuous hum, to which he gave the name of 'galvanic music.' The pitch of this note would correspond to the rate of interruption of the current. These faint sounds are due to magnetostriction. From these and other discoveries which had been made by Noad, Wertheim, Marrian, and others, Philipp Reis knew that if the current which had been interrupted by his vibrating diaphragm were conveyed to a distance by a metallic circuit, and there passed through a coil like that of Page, the iron needle would emit a note like thatwhich had caused the oscillation of the transmitting diaphragm. Acting on this knowledge, he constructed his rudimentary telephone. This prototype is now in the museum of the Reichs Post-Amt, Berlin

Another of his early transmitters was a rough model of the human ear, carved in oak, and provided with a drum which actuated a bent and pivoted lever of platinum, making it open and close a springy contact of platinum foil in the metallic circuit of the current. He devised some ten or twelve different forms, each an improvement on its predecessors, which transmitted music fairly well, and even a word or two of speech with more or less perfection. But the apparatus failed as a practical means of talking to a distance.
The discovery of the microphone by Professor Hughes has enabled us to understand the reason of this failure. The transmitter of Philipp Reis was based on the plan of interrupting the current, and the spring was intended to close the contact after it had been opened by the shock of a vibration. So long as the sound was a musical tone it proved efficient, for a musical tone is a regular succession of vibrations. But the vibrations of speech are irregular and complicated, and in order to transmit them the current has to be varied in strength without being altogether broken. The waves excited in the air by the voice should merely produce corresponding waves in the current. In short, the current ought to undulate in sympathy with the oscillations of the air. The Reis phone was poor at transmitting articulated speech, but conveyed the pitch of the sound.
It appears from the report of Herr Von Legat, inspector of the Royal Prussian Telegraphs, on Philipp Reis' telephone, published in 1862, that the inventor was quite aware of this principle, but his instrument was not well adapted to apply it. No doubt the platinum contacts he employed in the transmitter behaved to some extent as a crude metal microphone, and hence a few words, especially familiar or expected ones, could be transmitted and distinguished at the other end of the line. If Reis' phone was adjusted so that the contact points made a "loose metallic contact" they would be functioning much like the later telepone invented by Berliner or the microphone of Hughes, one form of which had iron nails in loose contact. Thus the Reis phone worked best for speech when it was slightly out of adjustment.
A history of the telephone from 1910 says "In the course of the Dolbear lawsuit, a Reis machine was brought into court, and created much amusement. It was able to squeak, but not to speak. Experts and professors wrestled with it in vain. It refused to transmit one intelligible sentence. '`It can speak, but it won't,' explained one of Dolbear's lawyers. It is now generally known that while a Reis machine, when clogged and out of order, would transmit a word or two in an imperfect way, it was built on wrong lines. It was no more a telephone than a wagon is a sleigh, even though it is possible to chain the wheels and make them slide for a foot or two. Said Judge Lowell, in rendering his famous decision: 'A century of Reis would never have produced a speaking telephone by mere improvement of construction. It was left for Bell to discover that the failure was due not to workmanship but to the principle which was adopted as the basis of what had to be done. . . . Bell discovered a new art -- that of transmitting speech by electricity, and his claim is not as broad as his invention. . . . To follow Reis is to fail; but to follow Bell is to succeed (Casson, p96).'"
But Philipp Reis does not seem to have realised the importance of not entirely breaking the circuit of the current; at all events, his metal spring is not in practice an effective provision against this, for it allows the metal contacts to jolt too far apart, and thus interrupt the current. Had he lived to modify the spring and the form or material of his contacts so as to keep the current continuous — as he might have done, for example, by using carbon for platinum — he would have forestalled alike Bell, Edison, and Hughes in the production of a good speaking telephone. Philipp Reis in fact was trembling on the verge of a great discovery, which was, however, reserved for others.
His experiments were made in a little workshop behind his home at Friedrichsdorff; and wires were run from it to an upper chamber. Another line was erected between the physical cabinet at Garnier's Institute across the playground to one of the classrooms, and there was a tradition in the school that the boys were afraid of creating an uproar in the room for fear that Philipp Reis would hear them with his "telephon".

The new invention was published to the world in a lecture before the Physical Society of Frankfurt on October 26, 1861, and a description, written by himself for the Jahresbericht, a month or two later. It excited a good deal of scientific notice in Germany; models of it were sent abroad, to London, Dublin, Tiflis, and other places. It became a subject for popular lectures, and an article for scientific cabinets.
Reis obtained a brief renown, but the reaction soon set in. The Physical Society of Frankfurt turned its back on the apparatus which had given it lustre. Philipp Reis resigned his membership in 1867; but the Free German Institute of Frankfurt, which elected him an honorary member, also slighted the instrument as a mere "philosophical toy". At first it was a dream, and now it is a plaything. Have we not had enough of that superior wisdom which is another name for stupidity? The dreams of the imagination are apt to become realities, and the toy of today has a knack of growing into the mighty engine of tomorrow.
Reis believed in his invention, even if no one else did; and had he been encouraged by his fellows from the beginning, he might have brought it into a practical shape. But rebuffs had preyed upon his sensitive heart, and he was already stricken with consumption. It is related that, after his lecture on the telephone at Gießen, in 1854, Poggendorff, who was present, invited him to send a description of his instrument to the Annalen. Philipp Reis answered him, "Ich danke Ihnen Sehr, Herr Professor, aber es ist zu spät. Jetzt will ICH ihn nicht schicken. Mein Apparat wird ohne Beschreibung in den Annalen bekannt werden". (Translated, this means "Thank you very much, Professor, but it is too late. I shall not send it now. My apparatus will become known without any writing in the Annalen.)