Early telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, 1877.

Made:
1877 in United Kingdom
maker:
Unknown
patentee:
Alexander Graham Bell

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, used at Lloyds station 1877. Three quarter side view of whole object on grey
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, used at Lloyds station 1877. Overhead view of whole object on grey
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, used at Lloyds station 1877. Three quarter front view of whole object on grey
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, used at Lloyds station 1877. Three quarter side view of whole object on grey
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early Bell telephone instrument used at Lloyds station, patented by Alexander Graham Bell, unknown maker, British, 1877. The mouth/ear piece is not original and was added by the museum in 1906

Early Bell telephone instrument used at Lloyds station, patented by Alexander Graham Bell, unknown maker, British, 1877.

This form of magnetic telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), was one of the first to be brought into practical use, and demonstrates the transition from his early experimental telephones to a more practical one. It was sometimes called a 'box' telephone, due to the shape of the cover which normally protected the magnet and coils. It was the first telephone to use a permanent magnet, which avoided the need for a battery. The small horn could be used as both a mouthpiece and an earpiece. It was used at the Lloyds Signal Station in Cornwall. A large instrument of this type was also used during a demonstration at the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass., on 12 February 1877. The sounds reproduced by it were sufficiently loud to be audible to a large audience, the words having been shouted into a similar instrument in Boston, 26 km away.

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Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1906-10
Materials:
copper (alloy), metal (unknown) and wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall (connector): 34 mm x 21 mm diameter
overall (mouthpiece): 78 mm x 60 mm diameter
type:
telephone
taxonomy:
  • component - object

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