The Telephone And Its Corporation The Telephone And Its Corporation The phone is easily one of mans most important, useful and taken for granted inventions. The telephone has outgrown the ridicule with which it first received, now in most places taken for granted, it is a part of many peoples daily lives. It marvelously extended the ways man converses that it is now an indispensable help to whoever would live the convenient life. All disadvantage of being deaf and mute to any persons, which was universal before the advent of the telephone, has now happily been overcome. Before I tell of the history of how the telephone was constructed and put in to place I will tell of the past of communications. Ever since the ability of language and written language the most popular form of communication was done through a letter. Others were as documented in 1200 BC in Homers Illiad were signal fires. Carrier pigeons were used in the Olympic games to send messages from 700 BC to 300 AD.
In 1791 the Chappe brothers created the Semaphore system; they were two teens in France who wanted to be able to contact each other from their different school campuses. This system consisted of a pole with movable arms, which the positions took the place of letters of the alphabet. Two years later this idea had caught on and was being used in France, Italy, Russia, and Germany. Two semaphore systems were built in the U.S. in Boston and on Marthas Vineyard; soon Congress was asked to fund a project for a semaphore system running from New York City to New Orleans.
Samuel Morse told Congress that not to fund the project because he was developing the electric telegraph. Soon Samuel Morse developed his electric telegraph he demonstrated it in 1844 it caught on and by 1851 51 telegraph companies were in operation. And it continued to grow to 2250 telegraph offices nationwide. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh. He grew up deeply involved in the study of speech due to his father and grandfathers work. He was also a talented musician able to play by ear from a very early age, and, had he not been more interested in what his father was doing to help people speak, he might have ended up as a professional musician.
He and his two brothers built a model human skull and filled it with a good enough reproduction of the human vocal apparatus, which worked with a bellows, so it would be able to say, “Ma-ma.” Alexander became a Professor and taught visible speech he was greatly appreciated for this. Soon he went to work for Thomas Sanders a successful leather merchant from Salem who had a five-year old deaf son. Sanders also became a friend and admirer of Bell and his work. At his time at the Sanders house he was able to do his experiments in the basement until it became a tad bothersome to Sanders and told him to find a new place to experiment. So Alexander moved his lab to Charles Williams’ electrical shop in Boston and employed Thomas Watson together they worked for weeks to figure out this enigma. Finally after tightly tying a copper string and plucking it caused a distinct sound on both ends. He applied for a patent on February 14, 1876 3 hours before Elisha Gray filed a patent for a similar device.
March 7, 1876 the patent was issued three days later Alexander spoke the famous words after spilling acid on his pants “Mr. Watson come here I want you!” In order to distribute this new technology to the world and humanity a corporation needed to be created. The business venture to start this new corporation began before the invention with an agreement between Thomas Sanders, Gardiner G. Hubbard, and Bell dated February 27, 1875. Formed as a basis for financing Bell’s experiments, the agreement came to be called the Bell Patent Association.
The only tangible assets of this association were an early Bell patent, “Improvements in Transmitters and Receivers for Electric Telegraph,” his basic telephone patent, No. 174,465, an “Improvement in Telegraphy” (March 7, 1876), and two additional patents that followed. Publicity was needed Hubbard urged Bell to demonstrate his new instrument as well as the further improvements Thomas Watson had produced at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition that summer. It was hot and muggy in Philadelphia and not many people were attracted the complex scientific experiment setup. But Bell had seen an old friend in the party it was Dom Pedro do Alcontara, the Emperor of Brazil, whom Bell had met several weeks before at the School of the Deaf in Boston. The emperor was delighted to see an old friend, for he stopped the entire judging group and lured them over to Bell’s exhibit just as the group was disbanding for the day.
This was most fortunate event since Bell planned on leaving to Boston to continue his work at the Deaf school and no one could explain how the phone worked. The judges listened in amazement as Bell recited all of Hamlet’s soliloquy, and Dom Pedro exclaimed in wonder, “My God! It talks!” Just before Mr. and Mrs. Bell left for Europe for their Honeymoon, on August 4, 1877, the three members formed the Bell Telephone Company to look after the telephone’s interests. Thomas Watson was the only full time employee, who was paid $3.00 a day in wages, and, While Bell sailed to Europe to promote his invention and work with the deaf, Watson stayed at home.
He was the first research and development arm of the Bell System-forerunner of the vaunted Bell Telephone Laboratories. Bell Telephone Company worked hard leasing phones but hopes dipped and Hubbard offered to sell all the Bell patents to William Orton, president of Western Union Company, for just $100,000. This letter was sent to Hubbard in response to the offer: In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell and his financial backer, Gardiner G. Hubbard, offered Bell’s brand new patent (No. 174,465) to the Telegraph Company – the ancestor of Western Union. The President of the Telegraph Company, Chauncey M.
DePew, appointed a committee to investigate the offer. The committee report has often been quoted. It reads in part: “The Telephone purports to transmit the speaking voice over telegraph wires. We found that the voice is very weak and indistinct, and grows even weaker when long wires are used between the transmitter and receiver. Technically, we do not see that this device will be ever capable of sending recognizable speech over a distance of several miles. “Messer Hubbard and Bell want to install one of their “telephone devices” in every city. The idea is idiotic on the face of it. Furthermore, why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States? “The electricians of our company have developed all the significant improvements in the telegraph art to date, and we see no reason why a group of outsiders, with extravagant and impractical ideas, should be entertained, when they have not the slightest idea of the true problems involved.
Mr. G.G. Hubbard’s fanciful predictions, while they sound rosy, are based on wild-eyed imagination and lack of understanding of the technical and economic facts of the situation, and a posture of ignoring the obvious limitations of his device, which is hardly more than a toy… “In view of these facts, we feel that Mr. G.G.
Hubbard’s request for $100,000 of the sale of this patent is utterly unreasonable, since this device is inherently of no use to us. We do not recommend its purchase.” Western Union in 1878 created their own telephone company after finding out the telephone had uses such as eliminating the ticker tape machine. This company was called American Telephone and Telegraph they bought Elisha Gray’s patents and commissioned Thomas A. Edison to get busy and invent some better telephones. Thomas Edison invented a telephone transmitter that was far better than anything in use by the Bell Companies did.
It was a very good selling point for the American Speaking Telephone Company. So Bell Telephone Company needed a man who could stop Western Union in their tracks. Theodore Newton Vail was hired by Hubbard to serve as general manager, organizer and promoter. Vail took action immediately and sent letters to the baby bells saying to keep fighting for customers and that they had the original patents. Soon Vail attacked Western Union with Patent Infringement suits and Western Union retreated.
They sold all their phones in 55 cities and stayed out of the telephone business indefinitely. Later American Telephone and Telegraph was created once again to become a subsidiary that sold long distance service. In 1899 AT&T took control and became the owner of the Bell Telephone Company. AT&T started to mature and was constantly changing they way Americans talked. After Jay Gould of Western Union died the company started to break apart so AT&T bought Western Union.
Ironically they took control of the company that years before refused to buy their company. So AT&T became larger and larger then in 1912 entered Charles Mackay who complained about anti-trust violations in fear that AT&T had become a monopoly. When WWI came many people cried that the government should take over the communications and AT&T couldnt stop it. This hurt AT&T but by the end of the war they were able to get out of this most severe regulation. After the Great Depression AT&T was able to supply many jobs to people as operators and maintenance workers.
Changes had always affected AT&T some good and bad. The man responsible for the “dial telephone system” had a very good reason for getting rid of all the operators who controlled what calls went out and in. Amon Strowger, the St. Louis undertaker, became upset on finding that the wife of a competitor was a telephone operator who made his line busy and transferred calls meant for him to her husband. “Necessity is the mother of invention” so Strowger developed the dial telephone system to get the operator out of the system.
Many other inventions were tied to the telephone like the fax machine, the early computer, calculator, hearing aids, modems and many other valuable items of today. In the 1960s Bell Labs technologists had been growing increasingly concerned about the limitations of the national numbering plan which had been adopted earlier to make Direct Distance Dialing possible. In brief, the numbering plan divided the United States and Canada into areas, each area equipped with a different three-digit number which could be recognized by automatic switching equipment because the second digit was either a one or a zero. When the numbering plan was first devised it appeared that telephone numbers would go on forever, without any possible shortage developing. But the American and Canadian populations began growing at such a rate that the numbers would run out unless something was done. Since the area codes must have either a one or a zero in the middle, they could not be added to without great expense in changing the recognizing equipment. It looked as if something should be done about individual telephone numbers.
Further, others at Bell Labs had found that push-button telephones, when introduced would be much easier to use if the numbers could appear all alone on the buttons without being confused by the addition of letters. A group of very vocal people hated it. They felt, they said, that they and everyone else were being reduced to numbers, that computers were dehumanizing American life, that their heritage was being destroyed and that the Bell System was behind the whole plot. On November 20, 1974, the Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against t …