One of a pair of home made Bell telephone receivers, probably made by David Edward Hughes, England, 1875-1890.
One of a pair of homemade Bell telephone receivers, probably made by David Edward Hughes, England, 1875-1890.
In 1879 David Edward Hughes (1829/31-1900) was carrying out some experiments with his induction balance. He found that if a circuit was formed by joining up in series a battery, a microphone and one of the coils of his balance, any interruption of the circuit was accompanied by a disturbance which became audible in a telephone receiver connected to another microphone, even when the circuits were widely separated and there was no direct connection between them. It is now known that Hughes had unwittingly discovered electromagnetic radiation, but scientific friends considered the results were due to electromagnetic induction. Discouraged, Hughes did not publish his discoveries and the credit went to Heinrich Hertz some seven years later. This is one of the homemade telephone receivers which Hughes is believed to have used as part of the apparatus for detecting the electromagnetic radiation produced by the interruptor circuit. The waves could be detected inside his house but at no great distance beyond.
- Object Number:
overall (each): 100 mm x 150 mm x 100 mm, .27 kg
- component - object
- Executors of the late Anna C. Hughes
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.