March 1935 Radio-Craft
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Contained in this obituary honoring Alexander Graham
Bell's assistant, Dr. Thomas A. Watson,
which appeared in the March 1935 issue of Radio-Craft, is a bit of information about a serendipitous
event that led to the invention of the telephone. I do not recall having heard of it. This is just one
more reason why perusing historical material like these magazines is so important for keeping alive
the details of the other world's momentous events. Many demonstrations have shown how as stories get
passed on from person to person, generation to generation, some or all of the original details get lost
or modified along the way until the contemporary version of the event barely represents the facts.
Dr. Watson - Maker of First Telephone - Dies
by M. Roschfeld.
The late Dr. Watson with a replica of the first telephone.
Last month marked another mile stone in the history of telephony
and radio, when Dr. Thomas A. Watson, a close companion of Alexander Graham Bell, and maker of Bell's
first microphone, died of heart disease.
Dr. Watson and Professor Bell became acquainted during the latter's early experiments. On the afternoon
of June 2, 1875, the two men were working on Bell's "harmonic telegraph" when one of the transmitter
strings stopped vibrating and Watson plucked it again, the plucking sound being carried over the wires
to Bell, who then recognized the beginning of the telephone.
"After having made the first telephone and put up the first telephone wire," Dr. Watson said in an
interview, recently, "I also had the distinction of hearing the first words ['Mr. Watson, come here;
I want you!'] ever spoken over the telephone."
He retired in 1903 from active business but always retained his interest in telephony and in 1920
envisioned trans-Atlantic conversations as only the beginning of development in this method of communication.
The importance of the telephone transmitter to the development of radio, especially radio broadcasting,
can readily be appreciated by any radio technician.
Posted October 14, 2016