The word telephone was coined by Gottfried Huth in 1796 to describe his invention of a network of mouth trumpets or speaking tubes that could ‘pass messages from tower to tower’ . The distance over which such telephony could be carried out was clearly limited by the power of the ‘loudspeaker’ trumpets. However this was only 2 years after the first official Chappe telegraph message, and before the widespread use of electricity and understanding of electromagnetic waves. The mere fact that telephony was considered is noteworthy.
A system (pictured)1 for transmitting sound using electrical signals was first demonstrated by Johann Philipp Reis, a German scientist, ...
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