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Invention of the Telephone

Published on January 2017 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 25 | Comments: 0



Invention of The Telephone
The invention of the telephone is the most remarkable and noteworthy innovation in the history of mankind. Read on to know more about the history of the invention of the telephone.

The telephone is the most popular and widely used means of communication, and has literally changed the world and made it smaller. There have been numerous modifications in the structure and design of the telephone and today you find it in attractive designs and colors. Even though cell phones and wireless technology are more applicable nowadays, a wired telephone can still be found in many households. The invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell has proven a boon to the entire mankind. There is no clear evidence of the origin of the word 'telephone'. It is believed that the word telephone is from the two Greek words, 'tele' meaning 'far' and 'phone' meaning 'sound'.
Invention of The Telephone The history of the invention of the telephone is quite interesting. Although Alexander Graham Bell actually created the model of the telephone, the invention of the telephone was based on many other inventions of famous scientists. Johann Philipp Reis, a German scientist, was the first to come up with the idea of the transmission of sound through electricity. He also built an apparatus that could transmit sound, which is known as the Reis Telephone. The apparatus had many shortcomings and was not developed further. Antonio Meucci, an Italian scientist, also made an early version of the telephone and demonstrated it in Havana. He even filed for a patent for his model.

Even today, Meucci is credited with the invention of the telephone by many. Alexander Graham Bell, a professor whose occupation included training instructors to teach deaf and mute people, was acquainted with the nuances of sound and its nature. Bell initially wanted to invent a modified telegraph that could send multiple messages or signals at the same time. During experimentation, the concept of making a device that could transmit speech through electricity, struck Bell's mind. In 1875, while experimenting, Bell heard the sound of a clock through the wire. This inspired him and along with his assistant and electrician, Thomas A. Watson, he continued experimenting tirelessly to build an apparatus that could transmit sound. Finally, on 10th March, 1876, Bell spoke the first words through a telephone, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you", and they were clearly heard on the other side. These words have been immortalized in history and the above mentioned date is marked as the official date of the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. Alexander Graham Bell vs. Elisha Gray Along with Bell, Elisha Gray, an American scientist, was working simultaneously on the same project. There has been a debate throughout the world about who invented the telephone. Although it is universally accepted and known that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone; some people still believe that it was Elisha Gray who invented the telephone. According to historical evidence, it is said that there was only a difference of a few hours between the both of them applying for a patent for the telephone. It is still ambiguous as to whether Bell was inspired by Gray's ideas or vice versa. But Alexander Graham Bell filed his patent first and hence, has been commonly credited with the invention. Alexander Graham Bell was decorated with various awards and honorary degrees in his lifetime for his remarkable feat. The most ironic thing about Bell's life is that although he invented the telephone, he never used it as he considered it as an intrusion in his work. Later in his life, Bell also made notable contributions to the fields of aeronautics and hydrofoils. The Telephone After the invention of the telephone, there were numerous public demos made to popularize the phone. The Bell Telephone Company was founded in 1877, and production of the telephone began on a large scale. Within a year, thousands of people in America owned telephones. In 1915, Bell made a telephone call from New York to San Fransisco, when he spoke to Watson. This was the first long distance call made on the telephone. Other remarkable inventions related to the telephone are the rotatory dial, invented in 1923, the cordless phone, invented in 1965, and the mobile phone, invented in 1983. There is still a lot of dispute and debate about the invention of the telephone and all the scientists mentioned above are credited with its invention. Whatever may be the truth, we should be thankful to these great men who strove hard to make communication easier and convenient today.

Television is a medium of telecommunication, primarily used for transmitting and receiving moving images accompanied by sound. The word television is derived from a mixture of Latin and Greek words meaning 'far sight' i.e. tele meaning far in Greek and visio meaning sight in Latin. Today, the television has become a common source of entertainment in all the households and many commercial establishments. The history of television invention is a fascinating story in itself. Many people are still confused about who invented the television. John Logie Baird is accredited with the invention of television, while Philo Farnsworth is accredited with the invention of first fully electronic television system. Invention of Television Timeline In the early stages of development, a combination of optical, mechanical and electronic technologies were used to capture, transmit and display images on the television. Mechanical fax machines, such as the pantelegraph, developed in 1800s, facilitated transmission of images electrically. The invention of telephone was followed by the concept of electronic transmission of television images in motion by a telephonoscope in 1878. In 1881, the concept of using scanning to facilitate transmission of images was put into practice in the pantelegraph, wherein a pendulum-based scanning mechanism was used in the process of transmitting the images. This period marked the beginning of the use of scanning in one form or another in image transmission technology. This process of converting visual images into stream of electrical pulses was known as 'rasterization'. In 1884, a 20 year old university student, Paul Gottlieb Nipkow, from Germany, acquired the patent for the first electromechanical television system. This system utilized a scanning disk with a series of holes spiraling towards the center to facilitate rasterization. However, Nipkow's design of the first electromechanical system didn't materialize until amplifier tube technology was upgraded in 1907. Even after the system materialized in 1907, it could only transmit still halftone images, which were represented by equally spaced dots of various sizes, over telephone lines. By the second half of 1920s, only optical and electronic technologies were used utilized to capture, transmit and display images. Eventually, designs which used a rotating mirror drum scanner to capture the image, and a cathode ray tube to display it were developed. But the poor sensitivity of selenium sensors was still a big hindrance in the transmission of moving images. This problem was solved by the introduction of a scanning disk which produced an image of 30 lines resolution by the Scottish inventor, J. L. Baird. In 1925, Baird gave a demonstration of moving silhouette images in London, which was followed by the demonstration of moving monochromatic images in 1926. In 1926, Kalman Tihanyi, a Hungarian engineer, designed a television system featuring fully electronic scanning and display elements, which employed the principle of charge storage within the scanning tube. This was followed by the introduction of a mirrordrum based television system by Leon Theremin, a Russian inventor, in 1927. The mirror-drum based television system utilized the process of interlacing to achieve an image resolution of a 100 lines. In the same year, Philo Farnsworth, an American inventor, developed a television system featuring electronic scanning of pickup as well as display devices. Farnsworth televised a motion picture film to demonstrate his

television system to media on 1st September, 1928. Later in 1939, the development of color receiver, paved the way for introduction of color television. With the introduction of regular television broadcasts in 1929, Germany witnessed the first use of television within two years of the invention of television. The Berlin Olympic Games were broadcast live on television in 1936. Over the last few decades, television has become one of the major components of mass communication and entertainment. No doubt the invention of television is regarded as one of the most important milestones of the last century.

The Internet, a very complex and revolutionary invention of 1965, has changed our world. The Internet can be defined as �a global communications network consisting of thousands of networks typically interconnected by fiber optic cabling�(1). The internet is always transforming into new complex hardware and software, in addition to the services it offers. Another definition of the internet is as follows: �The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location�(2). My objective for this paper is to demonstrate and explain what the Internet is, including its components and history.

The Internet can be explained as a network of networks, linking numerous government, university and private computers to one another, while providing many services such as E-mail, hypertext documents, instant messages, and data exchanges. The Internet is the largest network of networks worldwide. The Internet uses many different protocols, the most important being TCP/IP.

The computer networking revolution began in the early 1960s and has led us to today�s technology. The Internet was first invented for military purposes, and then expanded to the purpose of communication among scientists. The invention also came about in part by the increasing need for computers in the 1960s. During the Cold War, it was essential to have communications links between military and university computers that would not be disrupted by bombs or enemy spies. In order to solve the problem, in 1968 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) made contracts with BBN (Bolt, Beranek and Newman) to create ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).

The invention of the Internet, along with the field of computer networking, was derived from the invention of the telephone network. Unlike the telephone network, the Internet uses packet switching. Packet switching was invented by three different independent research groups around the world. MIT graduate student Leonard Kleinrock, one of the first people to invent packet switching, was also the first person to publish work on packet switching. The work done at MIT, Rand and NPL helped lay the foundation of today�s Internet.

Kleinrock�s colleagues J.C.R. Licklider and Lawrence Roberts of MIT went on to head the computer science program at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Roberts published a complete plan for the ARPAnet, which is the first packet-switched computer network.

�Packet-switched and circuit-switched networks, two different technologies used for sending messages, each have their advantages for specific applications.�(9) The telephone network uses circuit switching, meaning that whenever a call is made, a circuit will be connected among two or more phone lines. Circuit switching networks require point to point bonding prior to transfer (there is only one path dedicated for the connection), and networks also require sending and receiving information constantly. On the other hand, the packet switching network, which has been used in the Internet, is different. Packet switching networks divide the data into small blocks; each block or packet has the possibility of taking a different path than the other to the destination; at the destination, the packets will be recompiled into the original message. (9)

In September of 1969, the first packet-switched computer network was installed in UCLA and was supervised by Kleinrock. In December of 1969, ARPA�s network expanded to include three other nodes throughout the United States: The Stanford Research Institute (SRI), The University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. Expansion became easy because of the decentralized structure of the network. The ARPA network was able to accommodate numerous kinds of machines. (4) (7)

The ARPA network originally used NCP (Network Control Protocol), but as time progressed, the ARPA network adapted a new protocol called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol) in the year 1983 . The TCP �converts messages into streams of packets at the source, then reassembles them back into messages at the destination� (3). The IP �handles the addressing, seeing to it that packets are routed across multiple nodes and even across multiple networks with multiple standards� (3).

The internet started to become more popular and widespread. By the year 1971, 15 nodes (23 hosts) had been established in the following locations: the University of California Los Angeles, SRI, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Utah, BBN, MIT, RAND, SDC, Harvard, Lincoln Lab, Stanford, UIU(C), CWRU, CMU, NASA/Ames. Also, in the year 1971, E-mail was invented. E-mail is a program which sends messages from host to host throughout a network. E-mail is an essential way of communication today. Furthermore, by the end of the 197Os, there were 111 hosts nationwide.(5)


Additional packet-switching networks were formed between 1970 and 1975. These networks include: ALOHAnet, Telenet, Cyclades,Tymnet, GE Information Services network and IBM�s SNA network. �In Hawaii, Norman Abramson was developing ALOHAnet, a packet-based radio network that allowed multiple remote sites on the Hawaiian Islands to communicate with each other. The ALOHA protocol �was the first multiple-access protocol, allowing geographically distributed users to share a single broadcast communication medium (a radio frequency)�(4).

In early 1980s, there were more than two hundred hosts connected to ARPAnet. The number kept increasing and reached a hundred thousand by the end of the 1980s.(5) Moreover, many computer networks were formed in the 1980s. In the year 1981 BITNET, the "Because It's Time NETwork" was established and became an e-mail provider. BITNET also became a provider of file transfers in order to link universities together in the Northeast. (4) In the same year, CSNET(Computer Science Network) was created for university scientists who did not have access to ARPAnet. CSNET also provided E-mail accounts for the university scientists.(8) In 1986, NSFNET, which serves as a backbone for support, was established with the purpose of offering access to NSF-sponsored supercomputing centers. (4) The NSFNET started with a speed of 56 kbps and by the beginning of the 1990s their speed increased to 1.5 Mbps. (4)


The Internet quickly transformed from a nationwide infrastructure network to an international phenomenon. In the early 1980s, the French instigated the

Minitel project, with the objective of bringing internet access to all French residents through more than 20,000 services. The Minitel system included a public packetswitched network, Minitel servers, and reasonably priced terminals that came with built-in low-speed modems. In 1994, the French government distributed free Minitel terminals to any French home that fancied one. The Minitel was in many French homes a decade before nearly any Americans knew about the Internet. (4)


In the 1990s, the whole world started to change more drastically technological wise and the Internet began to affect people. The number of end systems connected to the Internet reached one million. One of the most important events that happened in the 1990s was the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW). The first Web was started in November 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN.(8) With the start of WWW and browsers to surf the Internet, the commercialization emerged and has change the world tremendously (especially, with the development of the GUI browsers, such as, Mosaic Communications by Marc Andreesen and Jim Clark, which were later called Netscape Communications

Corporations, and their opponent Microsoft Explorer).(4) �The recent development and widespread deployment of the World Wide Web has brought with it a new community, as many of the people working on the WWW have not thought of themselves as primarily network researchers and developers.�(2) Today, people can do almost anything that they can think of over the Internet: shopping, taking University level courses and obtaining University degrees, sending Instant Messages (IM), using the phone network, listening to the Internet talk radio, banking, buying and selling stock on the stock market. Even citizens of Switzerland can vote in political elections online. The change in the 90s was incredibly fast. In 1991, there were more than 1 trillion bytes per month and 10 billion packets per month traffics in NSFNET.(8) In the same year, NSFNET increased their connection speed to T3 (44.736 Mbps).(8) In 1994, the traffic in NSFNET was more than 10 trillion bytes per month, and the number is increasing.(8) By the end of the 1990s, almost the whole world had access to the internet.

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