The materials necessary for performing this experiment are: Telephone receiver, transmitter, some wire and some carbons, either the pencils for arc lamps, or ones taken from old dry batteries will do.
Run a line from the inside of the house to the inside of some other building and fasten it to one terminal of the receiver. To the other terminal fasten another piece of wire and ground it on the water faucet in the house. If there is no faucet in the house, ground it with a large piece of zinc.
Fasten the other end to one terminal of the transmitter and from the other terminal of the same run a wire into the ground. The ground here should consist either of a large piece of carbon, or several pieces bound tightly together.
A Unique Battery
If a person speak into the transmitter, one at the receiver can hear what is said, even though there are no batteries in the circuit. It is a well known fact that two telephone receivers connected up in this way will transmit words between two persons, for the voice vibrating the diaphragm causes an inductive current to flow and the other receiver copies these vibrations. But in this experiment, a transmitter which induces no current is used. Do the carbon and the zinc and the moist earth form a battery? --Contributed by Wm. J. Slattery, Emsworth, Pa.