Alexander Graham Bell’s Sunshine Phone

Alexander Graham Bell’s Sunshine Phone

With our recent talk about how the underwater transatlantic telegram cable revolutionized communication, I found this article to be pretty interesting.  Only four years following his invention of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell created a wireless communication device that could transmit words up to 213 meters. Unlike the electronic communication that was being implemented, this “photophone”, as Bell called it, worked by speaking into a transmitter that would focus light onto a parabolic mirror. The mirror would resonate from the user voice, and create variations in intensity of a focused light beam that was sent to a receiver some distance away. This receiver was coated with selenium which would transform the light into speech once more. The article continues to connect this device to modern fiber optics. I found this article through the ” The Giant’s Shoulders” page originally posted by Dr. Stewart.

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