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Gli USA riabilitano Meucci 
Il Congresso degli Stati Uniti ha riconosciuto i meriti di Antonio Meucci (nella foto) quale inventore del telefono. Approvando una mozione presentata da un deputato italo-americano, la Camera USA ha riabilitato dunque l'inventore fiorentino, riconoscendo che Alexander Grahan Bell gli sottrasse la gloria solo perchè aveva i soldi per brevettare l'invenzione.
11 Giugno 2002

USA rehabilitate Meucci 
The Congress of the United States has recognized the merits of Anthony Meucci (in the photo) inventor of the telephone. Approving a motion introduced by a deputy italo-American, the Chamber USA has rehabilitated the Florentine inventor, recognizing that Alexander Grahan Bell subtracted to him the glory only because he had money to patent the invention.
June 11th 2002

Alexander Graham Bell: 
what have you started?

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Prehistory of the telephone
The Journal Télégraphique of 1878 according to the "Gazette de Pékin" the telephone, or Thumt-sein, was invented in China in the year 968 by a learned man whose name was Kung-Foo-Whing.
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Thomas A. Watson, 1874

But, although it seems generally acknowledged that Bell made the first authentic demonstration of the transmissione of speech by telephone, there is still controversy as to who was the first person to design a workable telephone suitable for the transmission of speech. Already in the 1850s a number of inventors had proposed the use of the make-and-break principle of the telegraph for transmitting the pitch of sounds. Among these inventors were Edward Farrar (United States), Charles Bourseul (France), Philipp Reis (Germany),
Antonio Meucci (Italy) and many others.
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Antonio Meucci
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The first telephone of Anthony Meucci

The Italian Historical Society of America sustains that Antonio Meucci, an immigrant from Italy who lived in Staten Island in new York City, invented the telephone, and has been denied fame and fortune only because he lacked $250 and because Bell himself rifled the files of a patent office, destroyng the evidence of Meucci's invention. The Society argues that Meucci filed a patent for a "telefono" on Dec.28,1871, a full five years before Bell filed his patent. "We can only credit Mr. Bell with commercializing the invention of Meucci", said John La Corte, the president of the Italian Historical Society of America. "In the tradition of fair play and honesty, let Meucci have the honor to be recognized as the "Father of the Telephone" in the encyclopedia. Let Mr. Bell have the money." According to the Society, in 1871 Meucci could not afford the $250 necessary to purchase a regular patentfor his telefono, so he purchased a temporary patent for $10. In 1874, Meucci still did not have $250 and his temporary patent-number 3335-was aollowed to lapse. 

It was Philipp Reis (1834-1874) who was the first to transmit, in 1861, a musical melody electrically over a distance. He called his apparatus the "Telephone".
In the 1870s in the United States two men, unknown to each other, were working to find ways of transmitting speech electrically. They were Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) and Elisha Gray (1835-1901).
On the same day that Bell filed his patent application, Elisha Gray filed at the United States Patent Office a caveat (a notice of intent to perfect his ideas and file a patent application within three months) for an electric telephone.
It turned out that Bell's patent application had been filed a few hours earlier than Gray's caveat and the patent was granted to Bell on 7 March 1876.
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A Bell Company reproduction of Bell's first magneto telephone 1875
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A Bell Company reproduction of Bell's liquid transmitter. These were used March 10, 1876 when the Bell's voice was heard by Watson.

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Experiments of the speaking " telegraph " - Boston 1877

Birth of the telephone business
Bell showed his equipment at the Philadelphia Centennial Exibition of 1876 which gave it enormous publicity and Hubbard started marketing it. Watson organised the manufacture of instruments and Sanders financed the operation. The Bell Telephone Co. was formed on the 9th July 1877. Sander was appointed as treasurer, Bell as "electrician" and Watson as "superintendent". On the 11th July 1877, Bell married Mabel Hubbard. The honeymooners set sail for England and spent a
year in Britain. 
To magnify the image clik on itIvory handsets prepared for Queen Victoria by Alexander Graham Bell when he visited England in 1877.
The telephone business was started jn Britain during this visit with the sale of rights to Bell's British patent. A "Butterstamp" telephone, 1877, belonged to Queen Victoria at Osborne House.
While Bell was in Britain, the telephone business was developing fast in the USA. By January 1878 over 3.000 telephones had been installed and the first public exchange had opened at New Haven, Conn. with 21 subscribers. Theodor N. Vail became General Manager of the Bell Telephone System in 1878. It was recognized that telephone performance was a matter of mutual concern to users and the practice was established of leasing telephones instead of selling them. Vail understood and he sought to create a telephone system nationwide and worldwide. The first subscriber in the world was such Charles Gaspare Ghidden of Lowel. The first telephone message was transmitted on the 10th March 1876, and, by 1880, a United States census showed that there were 148 telephone systems, 48 414 subscribers and 54 319 telephones in existence. The Bell Telephone Advertisement of 1878
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The first telephone exchange opened in Denver. This was 1879, and the company charge $4 for residential rates and $5 for business phones.

Telephone sets
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Original telephone manufactured in Germany/Berlin around in the year 1878. The big receiver with the part that leans to the ear in wood brings the writing Tel Fabr AG Berliner . The box in wood brings the writing. C.F.Lewert—Berlin  N°. 287 To notice that the transmitter is constituted by the big membrane in wood that acts on three coal cylinders. The transmitter to coal in granular had not been yet invented. A trasmitter in wich granular carbon was used for the variable contact was invented in 1878 by Henry Hunnings, and English clergyman. Edison invented a transmitter whose carbon granules were obtained from anthracite coal and Anthony C. White in 1890 invented the solid back transmitter using a "button" of granular carbon placed between a fixed electrode and a diaphragm-actuated movable one. The frontal button served to send the call. The apparatus is to install to wall. Interesting also the inside where can be clearly see the three coal cylinders of the transmitter and the mechanism to send the call. 
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Portuguese telephone set designed by Bramão in 1879
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The first suggestions for mounting a telephone transmitter and receiver on a common handle forming what is now known as a handset were made by two Englishmen, Charles A. MacEvoy and G.E.Pritchett in 1877. Handsets for customers use were introduced in France in about 1882 and spead quickly in Europe.
One of the classic early telephone models was the "Eiffel or Skeleton"; this was a wonderful combination of art and technology. Its elaborate curved legs were the magnets for the telephone's generator. There was no dial, and the handle was used to call and ring off. The eiffel model also established the handset, allowing the user to speak and listen via the same piece of apparatus. The eiffel was a great success. Ericsson manufactured it from 1892 through to the 1930s, exporting to such places as Russia and Austria. The rich Rothschild family favoured the eiffel, and possessed an exquisite set of gold-leaf and ivory versions with a matching switchboard.

In the early 1900s, was development the "candlestick" telephone-also called "tulip" and "daffodil". Its stylish slim appearance helped to make it one of the most successful telephone models ever. Candlestick were lighter that earlier phones and could be carried around easily, so caller was not rooted to the spot. Early candlestick were made of metal and had no  dials, but later models were made of plastic and featured dials on the base. Instead of a handset, the candlestick had a receiver hanging on the side of the telephone, and a separate mouthpiece on the stern. When the receiver was removed you were connected to the exchange, and when it was hung up you were cut off. (This is in fact the derivation of the term to "hang up" in the context of a telephone call).

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A variation on the "candlestick" style from the 1920s
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Stromberg-Carlson's first telephone, developed in 1894.
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Stromberg-Carlson patent June 19, 1894
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When President McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901, a Stromberg-Carlson telephone was used to call ambulance. Mc Kinley died September 14.
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Picture of rotary dials
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Picture of push-button dial

The plastic revolution
By the late 1920s, plastic had been introduced, and in 1929 the first completely moulded plastic telephone- the Siemens Neophone-appeared. This was lighter and less cumbersome tran phones made predominantly of metal. Unlike the candlestick, which required two hands, the new phone could be "used with one hand only, in complete confort, while the other hand is free for writing or any other purpose". Plastic also led to a revolution in terms of colour. For the first time, attempts were made to provide phones that fitted into people's decorationschemes. An early 1930s advertisement offered a choise of colours - red, jade green, black or ivory. In those days, the plastic used (which included Bakelite) had different qualities to those of today. The telephone really caught on during the 30s. For the first time it became commomplace in business, and as well as in most upper-and middle-class homes.
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Telephone lines
Individual telephone subscriber, would require to be connected to another subscriber on demand, and to provide this service, the need for interconnecting them became apparent. The first telephone circuits employed a single overhead wire usually of iron with ground return. An important early improvement was the development by Thomas B. Doolittle in 1877 of hard-drawn copper wire giving good tensile strengh together with improved electrical conductivity. The advantages of a two-wire entirely metallic circuit in reducing noise and interference were soon realized. The first telephone open wire line was between Boston and New York in 1885. The number of open wire circuits soon reached the point of saturation and the methods of compacting lines in overhead or underground cables were tried. The introduction of dry paper insulation for the conductors completed the foundation for the modern telephone cable.It was in 1887 that the Englishman Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) pointed out that the addition of inductance to telephone circuits would be beneficial to the transmission of speech. In 1900 the American professor Michael Pupin (1858-1935) suggested the insertion in seies of coils having the required inductance and a minimum resistance. By this methods a substantial reduction in the attenuation of the speech waves was obtained.
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View of Broadway before the telephone urban nets were placed in cable.
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Telephone cables after a storm of snow
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A LINE crew in 1890 poses with their wagon loaded with equipment
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Terminal Room
Beginnings of the telephone service
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First telephone operators
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In 1880 telephone equipment was so heavy and cumbersome that operators, who sometimes sat for many long hours, needed a back brace to make it through the day.

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The great-grandmothers of the actual telephone operators
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Telephone exchange. In the years when the telephone was still a novelty and customers were curious about the "Hello Girls", the company inserted a newspaper ad, admonishing customers who were too bold. "Don't tell the Hello Girl you like her voice. Don't ask what color her eyes are. Don't try purr sweet nothings at her. Don't try to start anything. She can only answer out of a phrase book. She will put the chief operator after you. A telephone girl has nothing to do but work. The chief operator is switched on to lecture all the "mushy boys".

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An operator at work among a tangle of wires in 1884

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1900 - a telephone call of help

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Public Telephone Station end 1880s

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A Telephone Pay Station in the home

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Service Desks

Many operators have acted with heroism in time of trouble. None was more heroic than Mrs. Julia C. Berry, operator at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago. Mrs. Berry lost her life in 1946 when she remained at her switchboard, awakeing guests, while the hotel burned down.

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Signal Corps men in ten-foot-deep dugout during the final Meuse-Argonne offensive operate switchboard in touch with front.
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Candlestick telephones installed in the palce of Versailles for use of the delegations to the Peace Conference.(June 1919)

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1890 PABX  Hasler DC local battery
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1900 PABX Ericsson-DC local battery
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1922 PABX Hasler 
Universal central battery 


Caller ID
Call Centers

Generally speaking, telephone networks are based on analogue processing of an electrical signal generated by the voice. These networks will change - they will be digitized. The voice will be converted into a digital signal (based on binary code elements 0 and 1) at each end of a transmission link. The electronic principle of digitization applies not just to speech but also to data and picture transmission. The telephone is not the only telecommunications facility that can be used. Telefax, audio and video conferences, access to data banks, and television are also available. The situation is going to change by:
- the unification of the various telecommunication networks;
- the interaction of the various media
A common denominator: the development of the
Telephone companies around the world are beginning to recognize the immense value they can still realize from their copper loop plant.New transmission technologies give them the capability to construct broadband access networks with existing twisted-pair wiring. ADSL, an asymmetric modem capable of transmitting high speed data over copper links, has proved itself in the field and now descends the learning curve in anticipation of wide scale deployment. ADSL offers rates from 1.5 Mbps to 8Mbps, sepending on line length, over the very same wires used for plain old telephone service (POTS). Indeed, ADSL shares the line with POTS, enabling telephones, fax machines, personal computers, and televisions to connect to remote services over single line at the same time.

Web traffic must use the local phone network to reach customers. 


The Internet Protocol-based communications architetture being created by Motorola with Cisco Systems and others Combining voice with data, multimedia, and the Internet into one broadband system, accessible through a new generation of access devices.

Routing to the small cost for National long-distance, International and Mobile calls

The second generation mobile 2G is created for speech and GSM2G has immense suitability for voice. People that only want to use voice services or narrowband data services will use 2G. All the others will move to UMTS3G
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System to meet mobile, data and multimedia needs.
The third generation mobile 3G it is for multimedia applications.
Services that are actually being envisaged: fast wireless access to the internet, videoconferencing, broadcast, full-motion videophones, video and audio e-mail, access desktop information, news and media information, access to libraries and databases, personal diaries, electronic commerce, interactive shopping, business and share information, education, leisure and entertainement. In addition, a significant amount of the data traffic that it is predicted will be carried over UMTS networks is likely to be machine-to-machine traffic, rather than person-to machine, or machine-to-person.  
The first licenze in March 1999 in Finland, one each to existing mobile operators, Sonera, Radiolinja and Telia, and one to Suomen Kolmegee, a consortium comprising 41 regional telcos of the Finnet Group.The UK will be the next EU country to issue licenses - in March 2000 - followed by Germanyin May. The Netherlands first half of 2000, while Austria, Italy, France and Portugal are all expected to licence during the year 2000.
The UMTS Forum's market studies predict that worlwide in the year 2005 there will be 1bn subscribers for mobile applications and that this will double by 2010.

Satellite technology (Broadband and Internet service)
Iridium and ICO (GMPCA) global mobile personal communications services.

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