How did the first telephone work?

I need to know how the Bell telephone worked the very first one. I'm confused if there was two or three parts. I know that there was a place to talk and a place to listen, but how were they connected and what was the receiver in the middle like, I saw pictures that it was cord wrapped around something, but then how did it connect to where the person talked and where the other person listened? Also, could the very first telephone be a two way conversation or just one way? If you could just give me a run down on how it worked it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

3 Answers

  • Alan
    Lv 4
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    there were a lot of 'first' telephones. idk if you mean the prototype Alexander Bell used to call his servant Watson or the first commercially available phones. realize there was not just one phone company in the early days and each company developed phone under license of Bell's original patent of the concept. what Bell really originated was the invention of a practical device to turn the human voice or any other sound into electrical impulses, which he then connected to a type of telegraph connection, to be transmitted and then turned from electical impulses back into an 'analog' of the voice or sound creating the impulses to begin with. in other words he invented the first practical speaker and/or microphone. basically composed of an electromagnetic coil of wire attached to a cone of a cardboard like material which was mounted in such a way that the vibrations of sound would move the cone and thus the coil of wire against a fixed magnet, creating electrical pulses. when the impulses reached the speaker the process was reversed and the cone would vibrate duplicating the sound that created the vibration to begin with. the transmission equipment was similar to the apparatus which is used to transmit electric pulses in morse code which was called the telegraph. but instead of requiring a trained operator to decode incoming and encode outgoing messages, anyone could simply speak and listen to one another in a most natural way. they were always 2 way messages because the components worked via wired connection and included separate microphone and speaker. 1 way conversation occurs when radio waves are used as the mode of transmission and often the speaker and microphone are the same coil and cone. most radios are incapable of translating incoming pulses and outgoing at the same time as are single cone receiver/sender speakers. this the one way effect of a walkie-talkie or even a cellphone, versus a landline which if you at the same time as the other caller, you can still hear them and they you to the limits of your ability and willingness to listen. regarding the apparatus, speakers and microphones were not small in size at the time, so usually the receiving microphone would be attached to the larger sending unit, and the listening speaker attached by a longer wire which allowed it to be manipulated to accomodate placing it closer to the ear. beyond those basics designs were quite varied. only after the turn of the century and most particularly after the creation of a government-sanctioned monopoly in the US called the Bell system (named after A G Bell but having little to do with him or family) did the appearance of the telephone become more standardized. the receiver or transmission part was in appearance basically just a box usually hung on the wall. modular plugs or jacks did not come into usage until much later, as the phone company owned the phone itself, until the breakup of the monopoly in the '80s. they could cut off your phone service if they found you tinkering or repairing your phone. if any problem happened they would just bring out another and take the broken one back for repair. in fact the phone company sued to bar makers of answering machines from being allowed to sell these on the theory that the customer would have to make connections themselves or other electrical technicians to install them without using the phone company.

    Source(s): long-time employee of the original phone company in US
  • Natal
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    telephone work

  • 7 years ago

    idk because I am still researching for my report to my teacher about Alexander Graham Bell first telephone and I still need to research how did the first telephone work and then I am done with my report it is due on 18th, December in 2013 but today is the 5th of December 2013 so IDK

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.