History of the Telephone

Timeline created by neelsnake
In History
  • Something new to try

    Something new to try
    Innocenzo Manzetti first mooted the idea of a “speaking telegraph” (telephone).
  • Drawing a Draft

    Drawing a Draft
    Antonio Meucci demonstrates a communicating device to individuals in Havana. It is disputed if this is an electromagnetic telephone, but is said to involve direct transmission of electricity into the body.
  • Another Drawing

    Another Drawing
    Charles Bourseul publishes a description of a make-break telephone transmitter and receiver in L'Illustration, (Paris) but does not construct a working instrument
  • Try to Understand me!

    Try to Understand me!
    Antonio Meucci demonstrates an electric voice operated device in New York, but it is not clear what kind of device he demonstrated.
  • transmitted humans

    transmitted humans
    The German 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.
  • I can hear you!!

    I can hear you!!
    Johann Philipp Reis manages to transfer voice electrically over a distance of 340 feet
  • I did it!!

    I did it!!
    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.
  • Can you hear me????

    Can you hear me????
    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.
  • I got a patent!

    I got a patent!
    Antonio Meucci files a patent caveat (a statement of intention to patent) for a Sound Telegraph, but it does not describe an electromagnetic telephone.
  • I'll say it for you!!!

    I'll say it for you!!!
    Prof Vanderwyde demonstrated Reis's telephone in New York.
  • noting some facts down

    noting some facts down
    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.
  • electromagnet power

    electromagnet power
    Gray invents electromagnet device for transmitting musical tones. Some of his receivers use a metallic diaphragm.
  • musical tones

    musical tones
    Gray demonstrates his musical tones device and transmitted "familiar melodies through telegraph wire" at the Presbyterian Church in Highland Park, Illinois.
  • an electro-dynamic receiver

    an electro-dynamic receiver
    1875 Thomas Edison experiments with acoustic telegraphy and in November builds an electro-dynamic receiver but does not exploit it.
  • a plucked steel reed

     a plucked steel reed
    Alexander Graham Bell transmits the sound of a plucked steel reed using electromagnet instruments.
  • starting to work

    starting to work
    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
  • The liquid transmitter

    The liquid transmitter
    11 February 1876 Elisha Gray invents liquid transmitter for use with a telephone, but does not build one.
  • The "caveat"

    (about 9:30am) 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.)
  • Bell wins!!!!!!

    Bell wins!!!!!!
    14 February 1876 (about 1:30pm) Approximately 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 his involvement with acoustic telegraphy. The result was that the patent was awarded to Bell.
  • I got a patent too!!

    I got a patent too!!
    (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.
  • telephone wishes

    telephone wishes
    7 March 1876 Bell's US patent No. 174,465 for the telephone is granted.
  • I talked!!

    I talked!!
    10 March 1876 Bell transmits speech "Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!" using a liquid transmitter as described in Gray's caveat, and an electromagnetic receiver.
  • first patent application for acoustic telegraphy

    first patent application for acoustic telegraphy
    16 May 1876 Thomas Edison files first patent application for acoustic telegraphy for which US patent 182,996 was granted October 10, 1876.
  • The first 6mile telephone

    The first 6mile telephone
    10 August 1876 Alexander Graham Bell makes the world's first long distance telephone call, about 6 miles between Brantford and Paris, Ontario, Canada
  • The carbon microphone

    The carbon microphone
    October 1876 Thomas Edison tests his first carbon microphone.
  • The first two-way long distance telephone call

    The first two-way long distance telephone call
    9 October 1876 Bell makes the first two-way long distance telephone call between Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • First long-distance telephone

    First long-distance telephone
    1877: First long-distance telephone line in French Corral, California