This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
While in telephonic arrangements, based upon the principle of magnetic induction, a relatively considerable expenditure of force is required in order to set the tightly stretched membrane in vibration, in the so-called carbon telephones only a very feeble impulse is required to produce the differences in the current necessary for the transmission of sounds. In order to produce relatively strong currents, even in case of sound-action of a minimum strength, Franz Kröttlinger, of Vienna, has made an interesting experiment to use thermo electric currents for the transmission of sound to a distance. The apparatus which he has constructed is exceedingly simple. A current of hot air flowing from below upward is deflected more or less from its direction by the human voice. By its action an adjacent thermo-battery is excited, whose current passes through the spiral of an ordinary telephone, which serves as the receiving instrument. As a source of heat the inventor uses a common stearine candle, the flame of which is kept at one and the same level by means of a spring similar to those used in carriage lamps. On one side of the candle is a sheet metal voice funnel fixed upon a support, its mouth being covered with a movable sliding disk, fitted with a suitable number of small apertures. On the other side a similar support holds a funnel-shaped thermo-battery. The single bars of metal forming this battery are very thin, and of such a shape that they may cool as quickly as possible. Both the speaking-funnel and the battery can be made to approach, at will, to the stream of warm air rising up from the flame. The entire apparatus is inclosed in a tin case in such a manner that only the aperture of the voice-funnel and the polar clamps for securing the conducting wires appear on the outside. The inside of the case is suitably stayed to prevent vibration. On speaking into the mouth-piece of the funnel, the sound-waves occasion undulations in the column of hot air which are communicated to the thermo-battery, and in this manner corresponding differences are produced in the currents in the wires leading to the receiving instrument.--Oesterreichische-Ungarische Post.