CHAPTER 1

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MICROPHONE

INTRODUCTION

The microphone pervades our daily lives through the sound we hear on radio, television and recordings, paging in public spaces, and of course in two-way communications via telephone. In this chapter we will touch upon some of the highlights of more than 125 years of microphone development, observing in particular how most of the first 50 of these years were without the benefits of electronic amplification. The requirements of telephony, radio broadcast, general communications, and recording are also discussed, leading to some conjecture on future requirements.

THE EARLY YEARS

As children, many of us were fascinated with strings stretched between the ends of a pair of tin cans or wax paper ...

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