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How was the Telephone Invented

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“Alexander Graham Bell constructed the prototype telephone (shown on left) in 1875. The device consists of a coil of wire, a magnetic arm and a taut membrane. Any sound causes the membrane, and hence the magnetic arm, to vibrate. The movement of the magnet induces a fluctuating electric current in the coil. This electrical signal can be reconverted into sound by an identical apparatus at the other end of the circuit.”


The telephone is a device by which we can talk to our friends and relatives living in other cities or countries even. It is being used everywhere, in business, offices, homes and factories.

The world ‘telephone’ has been derived from the Greek words ‘tele’ meaning far and ‘phone’ meaning sound. Thus, the word ‘telephone’ means the device which takes the sound to faraway places. The story of its invention is very interesting. It goes back to June 2, 1875, when Alexander Graham Bell was working along with his assistant Thomas Watson on some problem related to telegraphy. Bell was on the telegraphic receiver in one room, whereas his assistant was in another room. Watson created some vibrations on an iron strip. Bell rushed to the other room and found that the iron strip vibrating between the poles of a magnet was producing electric current in the connecting wire. It was this historic observation which led to the birth of telephone. He was able to demonstrate the telephonic conversation on March 10, 1876.

Do you know how the telephone works? It has two main parts: the mouthpiece and the earpiece. The mouthpiece of the telephone works as a transmitter whereas the earpiece works as a receiver. Both are enclosed in one cage and are connected by the line wire. When we speak into the mouthpiece, a diaphragm attached to it starts vibrating. And in accordance to these vibrations a varying current is produced. This current is carried by the telephone line wire to the receiver of another telephone. This varying current produces vibrations in the diaphragm attached to the receiver which is then converted into original sound waves. The person at the other end hears dearly the voice of the speaker. The same process is repeated between our receiver and the mouthpiece of the telephone at the other end. In this way two persons can talk to each other on the telephone. Today, every country has a vast network of telephone lines. Thus world has become very small. Thanks to the telephones!

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