The Invention of the Telephone

inventionstories1.jpgMost people attribute the telephone’s invention to Alexander Graham Bell, but in reality both him and Elisha Gray developed a similar device early in the 1870s. Bell managed to arrive to the patent office a couple of hours before Gray, and afterwards he also won the legal battle to determine who could claim the invention.

Bell was also the first person to demonstrate publicly that people could talk over distances through electrical devices, in 1876 he sent to his assistance the first words ever across a telephone, and those were: “Mr. Watson, come here!”

Graham Bell’ biggest insight came when he was transmitting musical notes across electrical circuits. He realized that the harmonics of the notes were also being transmitted, meaning that with a couple of modifications it would also be possible to transmit voice.

This insight, however, was only possible because Bell had a very trained ear after spending many years teaching deaf children and studying the sound and its properties. The takeaway from this story is that even apparent “eureka” moments have their foundation on years of hard work and dedication.

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