Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Electronics,
published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Teenagers try to use a dial phone...
Someone sent me a link to a viral video of a group of teenagers (aka "Millennials") attempting to use an old school dial type telephone. Two things are notable. #1: They do not remove the handset from the cradle prior to dialing. #2: One of them asks whether it is necessary to let the dial spin all the way back to rest before dialing the next number. It's really not their fault since except for in dusty old places like my house, finding a dial phone is difficult. Many historians have commented that two innovations most responsible for America's greatness in the last century were the interstate highway system (for moving goods) and the telephone system. Bell Telephone Labs engineers designed phones and all the equipment that connected them to be simple, highly functional, robust, and to have an incredibly high level of reliability. America's telephone system was the envy of the world - note in movies into the 1970s where people making overseas calls were depicted as having major difficulties with making and keeping connections. Take apart a vintage dial telephone and you will be amazed at the simplicity of a device which had no active components, yet could make and receive crystal clear calls from anywhere in the country. Quiz: The two lines connected to the phone are called "tip" and "ring;" do you know the origin of the terms?*
New Bell Telephone
New "500" telephone. It has already been introduced on a limited scale and will be put in use as opportunity permits. in places where it can serve best. Note new dial and 25 per cent lighter handset.
It adds miles to your voice
For years the telephone you know and use has done its job well - and still does. But as America grows, more people are settling in suburban areas. Telephone lines must be longer; more voice energy is needed to span the extra miles.
Engineers at Bell Telephone Laboratories have developed a new telephone which can deliver a voice ten times more powerfully than before. Outlying points may now be served without the installation of extra-heavy wires or special batteries on subscribers' premises. For shorter distances, the job can be done with thinner wires than before. Thus thousands of tons of copper and other strategic materials are being conserved.
The new telephone shows once again how Bell Telephone Laboratories keeps making telephony better while the cost stays low.
Adjustable volume control on bottom of new telephone permits subscriber to set it to ring as loudly or softly as he pleases. Ring is pleasant and harmonious, yet stands out clearer.
Quick Facts on New Telephone
Transmitter is much more powerful, due largely to increased sound pressure at the diaphragm and more efficient use of the carbon granules that turn sound waves into electrical impulses.
Light ring armature diaphragm receiver produces three times as much acoustic energy for the same input power. It transmits more of the high frequencies.
Improved dial mechanism can send pulses over greater distances to operate switches in dial exchange.
Built-in varistors equalize current, so voices don't get too loud close to telephone offices.
Despite increased sensitivity of receiver, "clicks" are subdued by copper oxide varistor which chops off peaks of current surges.
Bell Telephone Laboratories
Improving telephone service for America provides careers for creative men in scientific and technical fields.
Quiz Answer: The image to the right shows plugs of the sort used with telephone switchboards. The "tip" of the plug physically connected to the "tip" wire on the phone, and the "ring" area connected to the "ring" wire.
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