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.
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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- J.C. Stevens (Auction Sales)
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