Light Contact Points

In 1877 Professor Hughes discovered, accidentally, that a light contact point in an electric circuit augmented the sound in a telephone circuit. If, for instance, a light pin, or a nail (A, Fig. 85) should be used to connect the severed ends of a wire (B), the sounds in the telephone not only would be louder, but they would be more distinct, and the first instrument made practically, to demonstrate this, is shown in Fig. 86.

Fig. 86. MicrophoneFig. 87. Transmitter
Fig. 86. MicrophoneFig. 87. Transmitter

How To Make A Microphone

This instrument has simply a base (A) of wood, and near one end is a perpendicular sounding-board (B) of wood, to one side of which is attached, by wax or otherwise, a pair of carbon blocks (C, D). The lower carbon block (C) has a cup-shaped depression in its upper side, and the upper block has a similar depression in its lower side. A carbon pencil (E) is lightly held within these cups, so that the lightest contact of the upper end of the pencil with the carbon block, makes the instrument so sensitive that a fly, walking upon the sounding-board, may be distinctly heard through the telephone which is in the circuit.

Microphone The Father Of The Transmitter

This instrument has been greatly modified, and is now used as a transmitter, the latter thereby taking the place of the pin (A), shown in Fig. 85.

Automatic Cut-Outs For Telephones

In the operation of the telephone, the great drawback originally was in inducing users of the lines to replace or adjust their instruments carefully. When switches were used, they would forget to throw them back, and all sorts of trouble resulted.

It was found necessary to provide an automatic means for throwing in and cutting out an instrument, this being done by hanging the telephone on the hook, so that the act merely of leaving the telephone made it necessary, in replacing the instrument, to cut out the apparatus.

Before describing the circuiting required for these improvements, we show, in Fig. 87, a section of a transmitter.

A cup-shaped case (A) is provided, made of some insulating material, which has a diaphragm (B) secured at its open side. This diaphragm carries the carbon pencil (C) on one side and from the blocks which support the carbon pencil the wires run to binding posts on the case. Of course the carbon supporting posts must be insulated from each other, so the current will go through the carbon pencil (C).

Complete Circuiting With Transmitter

In showing the circuiting (Fig. 88) it will not be possible to illustrate the boxes, or casings, which receive the various instruments. For instance, the hook which carries the telephone or the receiver, is hinged within the transmitter box. The circuiting is all that it is intended to show.

Fig. 88. Complete Telephonic CircuitFig. 88. Complete Telephonic Circuit

The batteries of the two stations are connected up by a wire (A), unless a ground circuit is used. The other side of each battery has a wire connection (B, B') with one terminal of the transmitter, and the other terminal of the transmitter has a wire (C, C') which goes to the receiver. From the other terminal of the receiver is a wire (D, D') which leads to the upper stop contact (E, E') of the telephone hook. A wire (F, F') from the lower stop contact (G, G') of the hook goes to one terminal of the bell, and from the other terminal of the bell is a wire (H, H') which makes connection with the line wire (A). In order to make a complete circuit between the two stations, a line wire (I) is run from the pivot of the hook in station 1 to the pivot of the hook in station 2.

In the diagram, it is assumed that the receivers are on the hooks, and that both hooks are, therefore, in circuit with the lower contacts (G, G'), so that the transmitter and receiver are both out of circuit with the batteries, and the bell in circuit; but the moment the receiver, for instance, in station 1 is taken off the hook, the latter springs up so that it contacts with the stop (E), thus establishing a circuit through the line wire (I) to the hook of station 2, and from the hook through line (F') to the bell. From the bell, the line (A) carries the current back to the battery of station (A), thence through the wire (B) to the transmitter wire (C) to receiver and wire (D) to the post (E), thereby completing the circuit.

When, at station 2, the receiver is taken off the hook, and the latter contacts with the post (E'), the transmitter and receiver of both stations are in circuit with each other, but both bells are cut out.