Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1 - A General Reference Work on Telephony, etc. etc.
by Kempster Miller
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[Transcriber's Note: References to page numbers in table of contents and index removed, as well as the numbers themselves.]



Telephony and Telegraphy

A General Reference Work on


Prepared by a Corps of


Illustrated with over Two Thousand Engravings





Authors and Collaborators

* * * * *

KEMPSTER B. MILLER. M.E. Consulting Engineer and Telephone Expert Of the Firm of McMeen and Miller, Electrical Engineers and Patent Experts, Chicago American Institute of Electrical Engineers Western Society of Engineers

* * * * *

GEORGE W. PATTERSON, S.B., Ph.D. Head, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan

* * * * *

CHARLES THOM Chief of Quadruplex Department, Western Union Main Office, New York City

* * * * *

ROBERT ANDREWS MILLIKAN, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physics, University of Chicago Member, Executive Council, American Physical Society

* * * * *

SAMUEL G. McMEEN Consulting Engineer and Telephone Expert Of the Firm of McMeen and Miller, Electrical Engineers and Patent Experts, Chicago American Institute of Electrical Engineers Western Society of Engineers

* * * * *

LAWRENCE K. SAGER, S.B., M.P.L. Patent Attorney and Electrical Expert Formerly Assistant Examiner, U.S. Patent Office

* * * * *

GLENN M. HOBBS, Ph.D. Secretary, American School of Correspondence Formerly Instructor in Physics, University of Chicago American Physical Society

* * * * *

CHARLES G. ASHLEY Electrical Engineer and Expert in Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony

* * * * *

A. FREDERICK COLLINS Editor, Collins Wireless Bulletin Author of "Wireless Telegraphy, Its History, Theory, and Practice"

* * * * *

FRANCIS B. CROCKER, E.M., Ph.D. Head, Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University Past-President, American Institute of Electrical Engineers

* * * * *

MORTON ARENDT, E.E. Instructor in Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York

* * * * *

EDWARD B. WAITE Head, Instruction Department, American School of Correspondence American Society of Mechanical Engineers Western Society of Engineers

* * * * *

DAVID P. MORETON, B.S., E.E. Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Armour Institute of Technology American Institute of Electrical Engineers,

* * * * *

LEIGH S. KEITH, B.S. Managing Engineer with McMeen and Miller, Electrical Engineers and Patent Experts Chicago Associate Member, American Institute of Electrical Engineers

* * * * *

JESSIE M. SHEPHERD, A.B. Associate Editor, Textbook Department, American School of Correspondence

* * * * *

ERNEST L. WALLACE, B.S. Assistant Examiner, United States Patent Office, Washington, D. C.

* * * * *

GEORGE R. METCALFE, M.E. Editor, American Institute of Electrical Engineers Formerly Head of Publication Department, Westinghouse Elec. & Mfg. Co.

* * * * *

J.P. SCHROETER Graduate, Munich Technical School Instructor in Electrical Engineering, American School of Correspondence

* * * * *

JAMES DIXON, E.E. American Institute of Electrical Engineers

* * * * *

HARRIS C. TROW, S.B., Managing Editor Editor-in-Chief, Textbook Department, American School of Correspondence

Authorities Consulted

The editors have freely consulted the standard technical literature of America and Europe in the preparation of these volumes. They desire to express their indebtedness particularly to the following eminent authorities, whose well-known works should be in the library of every telephone and telegraph engineer.

Grateful acknowledgment is here made also for the invaluable co-operation of the foremost engineering firms and manufacturers in making these volumes thoroughly representative of the very best and latest practice in the transmission of intelligence, also for the valuable drawings, data, suggestions, criticisms, and other courtesies.

* * * * *

ARTHUR E. KENNELY, D.Sc. Professor of Electrical Engineering, Harvard University. Joint Author of "The Electric Telephone." "The Electric Telegraph," "Alternating Currents," "Arc Lighting," "Electric Heating," "Electric Motors," "Electric Railways," "Incandescent Lighting," etc.

* * * * *

HENRY SMITH CARHART, A.M., LL.D. Professor of Physics and Director of the Physical Laboratory, University of Michigan. Author of "Primary Batteries," "Elements of Physics," "University Physics," "Electrical Measurements," "High School Physics," etc.

* * * * *

FRANCIS B. CROCKER, M.E., Ph.D. Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York; Past-President, American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Author of "Electric Lighting;" Joint Author of "Management of Electrical Machinery."

* * * * *

HORATIO A. FOSTER Consulting Engineer; Member of American Institute of Electrical Engineers; Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Author of "Electrical Engineer's Pocket-Book."

* * * * *

WILLIAM S. FRANKLIN, M.S., D.Sc. Professor of Physics, Lehigh University. Joint Author of "The Elements of Electrical Engineering," "The Elements of Alternating Currents."

* * * * *

LAMAR LYNDON, B.E., M.E. Consulting Electrical Engineer; Associate Member of American Institute of Electrical Engineers; Member, American Electro-Chemical Society. Author of "Storage Battery Engineering."

* * * * *

ROBERT ANDREWS MILLIKAN, Ph.D. Professor of Physics, University of Chicago. Joint Author of "A First Course in Physics," "Electricity, Sound and Light," etc.

* * * * *

KEMPSTER B. MILLER, M.E. Consulting Engineer and Telephone Expert; of the Firm of McMeen and Miller, Electrical Engineers and Patent Experts, Chicago. Author of "American Telephone Practice."

* * * * *

WILLIAM H. PREECE Chief of the British Postal Telegraph. Joint Author of "Telegraphy," "A Manual of Telephony," etc.—

* * * * *

LOUIS BELL, Ph.D. Consulting Electrical Engineer; Lecturer on Power Transmission, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Author of "Electric Power Transmission," "Power Distribution for Electric Railways," "The Art of Illumination," "Wireless Telephony," etc.

* * * * *

OLIVER HEAVISIDE, F.R.S. Author of "Electro-Magnetic Theory," "Electrical Papers," etc.

* * * * *

SILVANUS P. THOMPSON, D.Sc, B.A., F.R.S., F.R.A.S. Principal and Professor of Physics in the City and Guilds of London Technical College. Author of "Electricity and Magnetism," "Dynamo-Electric Machinery," "Polyphase Electric Currents and Alternate-Current Motors," "The Electromagnet," etc.

* * * * *

ANDREW GRAY, M.A., F.R.S.E. Author of "Absolute Measurements in Electricity and Magnetism."

* * * * *

ALBERT CUSHING CREHORE, A.B., Ph.D. Electrical Engineer; Assistant Professor of Physics, Dartmouth College; Formerly instructor in Physics, Cornell University. Author of "Synchronous and Other Multiple Telegraphs;" Joint Author of "Alternating Currents."

* * * * *

J. J. THOMSON, D.Sc, LL.D., Ph.D., F.R.S. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University; Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics, Cambridge University. Author of "The Conduction of Electricity through Gases," "Electricity and Matter."

* * * * *

FREDERICK BEDELL, Ph. D. Professor of Applied Electricity, Cornell University. Author of "The Principles of the Transformer;" Joint Author of "Alternating Currents."

* * * * *

DUGALD C. JACKSON, C.E. Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Member, American Institute of Electrical Engineers, etc. Author of "A Textbook on Electromagnetism and the Construction of Dynamos;" Joint Author of "Alternating Currents and Alternating-Current Machinery."

* * * * *

MICHAEL IDVORSKY PUPIN, A.B., Sc.D., Ph.D. Professor of Electro-Mechanics, Columbia University, New York. Author of "Propagation of Long Electric Waves," and "Wave-Transmission over Non-Uniform Cables and Long-Distance Air Lines."

* * * * *

FRANK BALDWIN JEWETT, A.B., Ph.D. Transmission and Protection Engineer, with American Telephone & Telegraph Co. Author of "Modern Telephone Cable," "Effect of Pressure on Insulation Resistance."

* * * * *

ARTHUR CROTCH Formerly Lecturer on Telegraphy and Telephony at the Municipal Technical Schools, Norwich, Eng. Author of "Telegraphy and Telephony."

* * * * *

JAMES ERSKINE-MURRAY, D.Sc. Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Author of "A Handbook of Wireless Telegraphy."

* * * * *

A.H. MCMILLAN, A.B., LL.B. Author of "Telephone Law, A Manual on the Organization and Operation of Telephone Companies."

* * * * *

WILLIAM ESTY, S.B., M.A. Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, Lehigh University. Joint Author of "The Elements of Electrical Engineering."

* * * * *

GEORGE W. WILDER, Ph.D. Formerly Professor of Telephone Engineering, Armour Institute of Technology. Author of "Telephone Principles and Practice," "Simultaneous Telegraphy and Telephony," etc.

* * * * *

WILLIAM L. HOOPER, Ph.D. Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, Tufts College. Joint Author of "Electrical Problems for Engineering Students."

* * * * *

DAVID S. HULFISH Technical Editor, The Nickelodeon; Telephone and Motion-Picture Expert; Solicitor of Patents. Author of "How to Read Telephone Circuit Diagrams."

* * * * *

J.A. FLEMING, M.A., D.Sc. (Lond.), F.R.S. Professor of Electrical Engineering in University College, London; Late Fellow and Scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge; Fellow of University College, London. Author of "The Alternate-Current Transformer," "Radiotelegraphy and Radiotelephony," "Principles of Electric Wave Telegraphy," "Cantor Lectures on Electrical Oscillations and Electric Waves," "Hertzian Wave Wireless Telegraphy," etc.

* * * * *

F.A.C. PERRINE, A.M., D.Sc. Consulting Engineer: Formerly President, Stanley Electric Manufacturing Company; Formerly Professor of Electrical Engineering, Leland Stanford, Jr. University. Author of "Conductors for Electrical Distribution."

* * * * *

A. FREDERICK COLLINS Editor, Collins Wireless Bulletin. Author of "Wireless Telegraphy, Its History, Theory and Practice," "Manual of Wireless Telegraphy," "Design and Construction of Induction Coils," etc.

* * * * *

SCHUYLER S. WHEELER, D.Sc. President, Crocker-Wheeler Co.; Past-President, American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Joint Author of "Management of Electrical Machinery."

* * * * *

CHARLES PROTEUS STEINMETZ Consulting Engineer, with the General Electric Co.; Professor of Electrical Engineering, Union College. Author of "The Theory and Calculation of Alternating-Current Phenomena," "Theoretical Elements of Electrical Engineering", etc.

* * * * *

GEORGE W. PATTERSON, S.B., Ph.D. Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan. Joint Author of "Electrical Measurements."

* * * * *

WILLIAM MAVER, JR. Ex-Electrician Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company; Member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Author of "American Telegraphy and Encyclopedia of the Telegraph," "Wireless Telegraphy."

* * * * *

JOHN PRICE JACKSON, M.E. Professor of Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State College. Joint Author of "Alternating Currents and Alternating-Current Machinery."

* * * * *

AUGUSTUS TREADWELL, JR., E.E. Associate Member, American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Author of "The Storage Battery, A Practical Treatise on Secondary Batteries."

* * * * *

EDWIN J. HOUSTON, Ph.D. Professor of Physics, Franklin Institute, Pennsylvania; Joint Inventor of Thomson-Houston System of Arc Lighting; Electrical Expert and Consulting Engineer. Joint Author of "The Electric Telephone," "The Electric Telegraph," "Alternating Currents," "Arc Lighting," "Electric Heating," "Electric Motors," "Electric Railways," "Incandescent Lighting," etc.

* * * * *

WILLIAM J. HOPKINS Professor of Physics in the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry, Philadelphia. Author of "Telephone Lines and their Properties."


The present day development of the "talking wire" has annihilated both time and space, and has enabled men thousands of miles apart to get into almost instant communication. The user of the telephone and the telegraph forgets the tremendousness of the feat in the simplicity of its accomplishment; but the man who has made the feat possible knows that its very simplicity is due to the complexity of the principles and appliances involved; and he realizes his need of a practical, working understanding of each principle and its application. The Cyclopedia of Telephony and Telegraphy presents a comprehensive and authoritative treatment of the whole art of the electrical transmission of intelligence.

The communication engineer—if so he may be called—requires a knowledge both of the mechanism of his instruments and of the vagaries of the current that makes them talk. He requires as well a knowledge of plants and buildings, of office equipment, of poles and wires and conduits, of office system and time-saving methods, for the transmission of intelligence is a business as well as an art. And to each of these subjects, and to all others pertinent, the Cyclopedia gives proper space and treatment.

The sections on Telephony cover the installation, maintenance, and operation of all standard types of telephone systems; they present without prejudice the respective merits of manual and automatic exchanges; and they give special attention to the prevention and handling of operating "troubles." The sections on Telegraphy cover both commercial service and train dispatching. Practical methods of wireless communication—both by telephone and by telegraph—are thoroughly treated.

The drawings, diagrams, and photographs incorporated into the Cyclopedia have been prepared especially for this work; and their instructive value is as great as that of the text itself. They have been used to illustrate and illuminate the text, and not as a medium around which to build the text. Both drawings and diagrams have been simplified so far as is compatible with their correctness, with the result that they tell their own story and always in the same language.

The Cyclopedia is a compilation of many of the most valuable Instruction Papers of the American School of Correspondence, and the method adopted in its preparation is that which this School has developed and employed so successfully for many years. This method is not an experiment, but has stood the severest of all tests—that of practical use—which has demonstrated it to be the best yet devised for the education of the busy, practical man.

In conclusion, grateful acknowledgment is due to the staff of authors and collaborators, without whose hearty co-operation this work would have been impossible.

Table of Contents



Acoustics—Characteristics of Sound—Loudness—Pitch—Vibration of Diaphragms—Timbre—Human Voice—Human Ear—Speech—Magneto Telephones—Loose-Contact Principle—Induction Coils—Simple Telephone Circuit—Capacity—Telephone Currents—Audible and Visible Signals—Telephone Lines—Conductors—Inductance—Insulation


Transmitters—Variable Resistance—Materials—Single and Multiple Electrodes—Solid-Back Transmitter—Types of Transmitters—Electrodes—Packing—Acousticon Transmitter—Switchboard Transmitter—Receivers—Types of Receivers—Operator's Receiver—Primary Cells—Series and Multiple Connections—Types of Primary Cells—Magneto Signaling Apparatus—Battery Bell—Magneto Bell—Magneto Generator—Armature—Automatic Shunt—Polarized Ringer—Hook Switch—Electromagnets—Impedance, Induction, and Repeating Coils—Non-Inductive Resistance Devices—Differentially-Wound Unit—Condensers—Materials—Current Supply to Transmitters—Local Battery—Common Battery—Diagrams of Common-Battery Systems—Telephone Sets: Magneto, Series and Bridging, Common-Battery

PARTY-LINE SYSTEMS By K. B. Miller and S. G. McMeen

Non-Selective Party-Line Systems—Series and Bridging—Signal Code—Selective Party-Line Systems: Polarity, Harmonic, Step-by-Step, and Broken-Line—Lock-Out Party-Line Systems: Poole, Step-by-Step, and Broken-Line

PROTECTION By K. B. Miller and S. G. McMeen

Electrical Hazards—High Potentials—Air-Gap Arrester—Discharge across Gaps—Types of Arrester—Vacuum Arrester—Strong Currents—Fuses—Sneak Currents—Line Protection—Central-Office and Subscribers' Station Protectors—City Exchange Requirements—Electrolysis

MANUAL SWITCHBOARDS By K. B. Miller and S. G. McMeen

The Telephone Exchange—Subscribers', Trunk, and Toll Lines—Districts—Switchboards—Simple Magneto Switchboard—Operation—Commercial Types of Drops and Jacks—Manual vs. Automatic Restoration—Switchboard Plugs and Cords—Ringing and Listening Keys—Operator's Telephone Equipment—Circuits of Complete Switchboard—Night-Alarm Circuits—Grounded and Metallic Circuit Line—Cord Circuit—Switchboard Assembly



[Footnote A: For professional standing of authors, see list of Authors and Collaborators at front of volume.]



The telephone was invented in 1875 by Alexander Graham Bell, a resident of the United States, a native of Scotland, and by profession a teacher of deaf mutes in the art of vocal speech. In that year, Professor Bell was engaged in the experimental development of a system of multiplex telegraphy, based on the use of rapidly varying currents. During those experiments, he observed an iron reed to vibrate before an electromagnet as a result of another iron reed vibrating before a distant electromagnet connected to the nearer one by wires.

The telephone resulted from this observation with great promptness. In the instrument first made, sound vibrated a membrane diaphragm supporting a bit of iron near an electromagnet; a line joined this simple device of three elements to another like it; a battery in the line magnetized both electromagnet cores; the vibration of the iron in the sending device caused the current in the line to undulate and to vary the magnetism of the receiving device. The diaphragm of the latter was vibrated in consequence of the varying pull upon its bit of iron, and these vibrations reproduced the sound that vibrated the sending diaphragm.

The first public use of the electric telephone was at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. It was there tested by many interested observers, among them Sir William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin, the eminent Scotch authority on matters of electrical communication. It was he who contributed so largely to the success of the early telegraph cable system between England and America. Two of his comments which are characteristic are as follows:

To-day I have seen that which yesterday I should have deemed impossible. Soon lovers will whisper their secrets over an electric wire.

* * * * *

Who can but admire the hardihood of invention which devised such slight means to realize the mathematical conception that if electricity is to convey all the delicacies of sound which distinguish articulate speech, the strength of its current must vary continuously as nearly as may be in simple proportion to the velocity of a particle of the air engaged in constituting the sound.

Contrary to usual methods of improving a new art, the earliest improvement of the telephone simplified it. The diaphragms became thin iron disks, instead of membranes carrying iron; the electromagnet cores were made of permanently magnetized steel instead of temporarily magnetized soft iron, and the battery was omitted from the line. The undulatory current in a system of two such telephones joined by a line is produced in the sending telephone by the vibration of the iron diaphragm. The vibration of the diaphragm in the receiving telephone is produced by the undulatory current. Sound is produced by the vibration of the diaphragm of the receiving telephone.

Such a telephone is at once the simplest known form of electric generator or motor for alternating currents. It is capable of translating motion into current or current into motion through a wide range of frequencies. It is not known that there is any frequency of alternating current which it is not capable of producing and translating. It can produce and translate currents of greater complexity than any other existing electrical machine.

Though possessing these admirable qualities as an electrical machine, the simple electromagnetic telephone had not the ability to transmit speech loudly enough for all practical uses. Transmitters producing stronger telephonic currents were developed soon after the fundamental invention. Some forms of these were invented by Professor Bell himself. Other inventors contributed devices embodying the use of carbon as a resistance to be varied by the motions of the diaphragm. This general form of transmitting telephone has prevailed and at present is the standard type.

It is interesting to note that the earliest incandescent lamps, as invented by Mr. Edison, had a resistance material composed of carbon, and that such a lamp retained its position as the most efficient small electric illuminant until the recent introduction of metal filament lamps. It is possible that some form of metal may be introduced as the resistance medium for telephone transmitters, and that such a change as has taken place in incandescent lamps may increase the efficiency of telephone transmitting devices.

At the time of the invention of the telephone, there were in existence two distinct types of telegraph, working in regular commercial service. In the more general type, many telegraph stations were connected to a line and whatever was telegraphed between two stations could be read by all the stations of that line. In the other and less general type, many lines, each having a single telegraph station, were centered in an office or "exchange," and at the desire of a user his line could be connected to another and later disconnected from it.

Both of these types of telegraph service were imitated at once in telephone practice. Lines carrying many telephones each, were established with great rapidity. Telephones actually displaced telegraphic apparatus in the exchange method of working in America. The fundamental principle on which telegraph or telephone exchanges operate, being that of placing any line in communication with any other in the system, gave to each line an ultimate scope so great as to make this form of communication more popular than any arrangement of telephones on a single line. Beginning in 1877, telephone exchanges were developed with great rapidity in all of the larger communities of the United States. Telegraph switching devices were utilized at the outset or were modified in such minor particulars as were necessary to fit them to the new task.

In its simplest form, a telephone system is, of course, a single line permanently joining two telephones. In its next simplest form, it is a line permanently joining more than two telephones. In its most useful form, it is a line joining a telephone to some means of connecting it at will to another.

A telephone exchange central office contains means for connecting lines at will in that useful way. The least complicated machine for that purpose is a switchboard to be operated by hand, having some way of letting the operator know that a connection is wished and a way of making it. The customary way of connecting the lines always has been by means of flexible conductors fitted with plugs to be inserted in sockets. If the switchboard be small enough so that all the lines are within arm's reach of the operator, the whole process is individual, and may be said to be at its best and simplest. There are but few communities, however, in which the number of lines to be served and calls to be answered is small enough so that the entire traffic of the exchange can be handled by a single person. An obvious way, therefore, is to provide as many operators in a central office as may be required by the number of calls to be answered, and to terminate before each of the operators enough of the lines to bring enough work to keep that operator economically occupied. This presents the additional problem, how to connect a line terminating before one operator to a line normally terminating before another operator. The obvious answer is to provide lines from each operator's place of work to each other operator's place, connecting a calling line to some one of these lines which are local within the central office, and, in turn, connecting that chosen local line to the line which is called.

Such lines between operators have come to be known as trunk lines, because of the obvious analogy to trunk lines of railways between common centers, and such a system of telephone lines may be called a trunking system. Very good service has been given and can be given by such an arrangement of local trunks, but the growth in lines and in traffic has developed in most instances certain weaknesses which make it advisable to find speedier, more accurate, and more reliable means.

For the serving of a large traffic from a large number of lines, as is required in practically every city of the world, a very great contribution to the practical art was made by the development of the multiple switchboard. Such a switchboard is merely such a device as has been described for the simpler cases, with the further refinement that within reach of each operator in the central office appears every line which enters that office, and this without regard to what point in the switchboard the lines may terminate for the answering of calls. In other words, while each operator answers a certain subordinate group of the total number of lines, each operator may reach, for calling purposes, every line which enters that office. It is probable that the invention and development of the multiple switchboard was the first great impetus toward the wide-spread use of telephone service.

Coincident with the development of the multiple switchboard for manually operated, central-office mechanisms was the beginning of the development of automatic apparatus under the control of the calling subscriber for finding and connecting with a called line. It is interesting to note the general trend of the early development of automatic apparatus in comparison with the development, to that time, of manual telephone apparatus.

While the manual apparatus on the one hand attempted to meet its problem by providing local trunks between the various operators of a central office, and failing of success in that, finally developed a means which placed all the lines of a central office within connecting reach of each operator, automatic telephony, beginning at that point, failed of success in attempting to bring each line in the central office within connecting reach of each connecting mechanism.

In other terms, the first automatic switching equipment consisted of a machine for each line, which machine was so organized as to be able to find and connect its calling line with any called line of the entire central-office group. It may be said that an attempt to develop this plan was the fundamental reason for the repeated failure of automatic apparatus to solve the problem it attacked. All that the earlier automatic system did was to prove more or less successfully that automatic apparatus had a right to exist, and that to demand of the subscriber that he manipulate from his station a distant machine to make the connection without human aid was not fallacious. When it had been recognized that the entire multiple switchboard idea could not be carried into automatic telephony with success, the first dawn of hope in that art may be said to have come.

Success in automatic telephony did come by the re-adoption of the trunking method. As adopted for automatic telephony, the method contemplates that the calling line shall be extended, link by link, until it finds itself lengthened and directed so as to be able to seize the called line in a very much smaller multiple than the total group of one office of the exchange.

A similar curious reversion has taken place in the development of telephone lines. The earliest telephone lines were merely telegraph lines equipped with telephone instruments, and the earliest telegraph lines were planned by Professor Morse to be insulated wires laid in the earth. A lack of skill in preparing the wires for putting in the earth caused these early underground lines to be failures. At the urging of one of his associates, Professor Morse consented to place his earliest telegraph lines on poles in the air. Each such line originally consisted of two wires, one for the going and one for the returning current, as was then considered the action. Upon its being discovered that a single wire, using the earth as a return, would serve as a satisfactory telegraph line, such practice became universal. Upon the arrival of the telephone, all lines obviously were built in the same way, and until force of newer circumstances compelled it, the present metallic circuit without an earth connection did not come into general use.

The extraordinary growth of the number of telephone lines in a community and the development of other methods of electrical utilization, as well as the growth in the knowledge of telephony itself, ultimately forced the wires underground again. At the same time and for the same causes, a telephone line became one of two wires, so that it becomes again the counterpart of the earliest telegraph line of Professor Morse.

Another curious and interesting example of this reversion to type exists in the simple telephone receiver. An early improvement in telephone receivers after Professor Bell's original invention was to provide the necessary magnetism of the receiver core by making it of steel and permanently magnetizing it, whereas Professor Bell's instrument provided its magnetism by means of direct current flowing in the line. In later days the telephone receiver has returned almost to the original form in which Professor Bell produced it and this change has simplified other elements of telephone-exchange apparatus in a very interesting and gratifying way.

By reason of improvements in methods of line construction and apparatus arrangement, the radius of communication steadily has increased. Commercial speech now is possible between points several thousand miles apart, and there is no theoretical reason why communication might not be established between any two points on the earth's surface. The practical reasons of demand and cost may prevent so great an accomplishment as talking half around the earth. So far as science is concerned there would seem to be no reason why this might not be done today, by the careful application of what already is known.

In the United States, telephone service from its beginning has been supplied to users by private enterprise. In other countries, it is supplied by means of governmentally-owned equipment. In general, it may be said that the adequacy and the amount, as well as the quality of telephone service, is best in countries where the service is provided by private enterprise.

Telephone systems in the United States were under the control of the Bell Telephone Company from the invention of the device in 1876 until 1893. The fundamental telephone patent expired in 1893. This opened the telephone art to the general public, because it no longer was necessary to secure telephones solely from the patent-holding company nor to pay royalty for the right to use them, if secured at all. Manufacturers of electrical apparatus generally then began to make and sell telephones and telephone apparatus, and operating companies, also independent of the Bell organization, began to install and use telephones. At the end of seventeen years of patent monopoly in the United States, there were in operation a little over 250,000 telephones. In the seventeen years since the expiration of the fundamental patent, independent telephone companies throughout the United States have installed and now have in daily successful use over 3,911,400 telephones. In other words, since its first beginnings, independent telephony has brought into continuous daily use nearly sixteen times as many telephones as were brought into use in the equal time of the complete monopoly of the Bell organization.

At the beginning of 1910, there were in service by the Bell organization about 3,633,900 telephones. These with the 3,911,400 independent telephones, make a total of 7,545,300, or about one-twelfth as many telephones as there are inhabitants of the United States. The influence of this development upon the lives of the people has been profound. Whether the influence has been wholly for good may not be so conclusively apparent. Lord Bacon has declared that, excepting only the alphabet and the art of printing, those inventions abridging distance are of the greatest service to mankind. If this be true, it may be said that the invention of telephony deserves high place among the civilizing influences.

There is no industrial art in which the advancement of the times has been followed more closely by practical application than in telephony. Commercial speech by telephone is possible by means of currents which so far are practically unmeasurable. In other words, it is possible to speak clearly and satisfactorily over a line by means of currents which cannot be read, with certainty as to their amount, by any electrical measuring device so far known. In this regard, telephony is less well fortified than are any of the arts utilizing electrical power in larger quantities. The real wonder is that with so little knowledge of what takes place, particularly as to amount, those working in the art have been able to do as well as they have. When an exact knowledge of quantity is easily obtainable, very striking advances may be looked for.

The student of these phases of physical science and industrial art will do well to combine three processes: study of the words of others; personal experimentation; and digestive thought. The last mentioned is the process of profoundest value. On it finally depends mastery. It is not of so much importance how soon the concept shall finally be gained as that it is gained. A statement by another may seem lifeless and inert and the meaning of an observation may be obscure. Digestive thought is the only assimilative process. The whole art of telephony hangs on taking thought of things. Judge R.F. Taylor of Indiana said of Professor Bell, "It has been said that no man by taking thought may add a cubit to his stature, yet here is a man who, by taking thought, has added not cubits but miles to the lengths of men's tongues and ears."

In observations of many students, it is found that the notion of each must pass through a certain period of incubation before his private and personal knowledge of Ohm's law is hatched. Once hatched, however, it is his. By just such a process must come each principal addition to his stock of concepts. The periods may vary and practice in the uses of the mind may train it in alertness in its work. If time is required, time should be given, the object always being to keep thinking or re-reading or re-trying until the thought is wholly encompassed and possessed.



Telephony is the art of reproducing at a distant point, usually by the agency of electricity, sounds produced at a sending point. In this art the elements of two general divisions of physical science are concerned, sound and electricity.

Sound is the effect of vibrations of matter upon the ear. The vibrations may be those of air or other matter. Various forms of matter transmit sound vibrations in varying degrees, at different specific speeds, and with different effects upon the vibrations. Any form of matter may serve as a transmitting medium for sound vibrations. Sound itself is an effect of sound vibrations upon the ear.

Propagation of Sound. Since human beings communicate with each other by means of speech and hearing through the air, it is with air that the acoustics of telephony principally is concerned. In air, sound vibrations consist of successive condensations and rarefactions tending to proceed outwardly from the source in all directions. The source is the center of a sphere of sound vibrations. Whatever may be the nature of the sounds or of the medium transmitting them, they consist of waves emitted by the source and observed by the ear. A sound wave is one complete condensation and rarefaction of the transmitting medium. It is produced by one complete vibration of the sound-producing thing.

Sound waves in air travel at a rate of about 1,090 feet per second. The rate of propagation of sound waves in other materials varies with the density of the material. For example, the speed of transmission is much greater in water than in air, and is much less in highly rarefied air than in air at ordinary density. The propagation of sound waves in a vacuum may be said not to take place at all.

Characteristics of Sound. Three qualities distinguish sound: loudness, pitch, and timbre.

Loudness. Loudness depends upon the violence of the effect upon the ear; sounds may be alike in their other qualities and differ in loudness, the louder sounds being produced by the stronger vibrations of the air or other medium at the ear. Other things being equal, the louder sound is produced by the source radiating the greater energy and so producing the greater degree of condensation and rarefaction of the medium.

Pitch. Pitch depends upon the frequency at which the sound waves strike the ear. Pitches are referred to as high or low as the frequency of waves reaching the ear are greater or fewer. Familiar low pitches are the left-hand strings of a piano; the larger ones of stringed instruments generally; bass voices; and large bells. Familiar high pitches are right-hand piano strings; smaller ones of other stringed instruments; soprano voices; small bells; and the voices of most birds and insects.

Doppler's Principle:—As pitch depends upon the frequency at which sound waves strike the ear, an object may emit sound waves at a constant frequency, yet may produce different pitches in ears differently situated. Such a case is not usual, but an example of it will serve a useful purpose in fixing certain facts as to pitch. Conceive two railroad trains to pass each other, running in opposite directions, the engine bells of both trains ringing. Passengers on each train will hear the bell of the other, first as a rising pitch, then as a falling one. Passengers on each train will hear the bell of their own train at a constant pitch.

The difference in the observations in such a case is due to relative positions between the ear and the source of the sound. As to the bell of their own train, the passengers are a fixed distance from it, whether the train moves or stands; as to the bell of the other train, the passengers first rapidly approach it, then pass it, then recede from it. The distances at which it is heard vary as the secants of a circle, the radius in this case being a length which is the closest approach of the ear to the bell.

If the bell have a constant intrinsic fundamental pitch of 200 waves per second (a wave-length of about 5.5 feet), it first will be heard at a pitch of about 200 waves per second. But this pitch rises rapidly, as if the bell were changing its own pitch, which bells do not do. The rising pitch is heard because the ear is rushing down the wave-train, every instant nearer to the source. At a speed of 45 miles an hour, the pitch rises rapidly, about 12 vibrations per second. If the rate of approach between the ear and the bell were constant, the pitch of the bell would be heard at 212 waves per second. But suddenly the ear passes the bell, hears the pitch stop rising and begin to fall; and the tone drops 12 waves per second as it had risen. Such a circumflex is an excellent example of the bearing of wavelengths and frequencies upon pitch.

Vibration of Diaphragms:—Sound waves in air have the power to move other diaphragms than that of the ear. Sound waves constantly vibrate such diaphragms as panes of windows and the walls of houses. The recording diaphragm of a phonograph is a window pane bearing a stylus adapted to engrave a groove in a record blank. In the cylinder form of record, the groove varies in depth with the vibrations of the diaphragm. In the disk type of phonograph, the groove varies sidewise from its normal true spiral.

If the disk record be dusted with talcum powder, wiped, and examined with a magnifying glass, the waving spiral line may be seen. Its variations are the result of the blows struck upon the diaphragm by a train of sound waves.

In reproducing a phonograph record, increasing the speed of the record rotation causes the pitch to rise, because the blows upon the air are increased in frequency and the wave-lengths shortened. A transitory decrease in speed in recording will cause a transitory rise in pitch when that record is reproduced at uniform speed.

Timbre. Character of sound denotes that difference of effect produced upon the ear by sounds otherwise alike in pitch and loudness. This characteristic is called timbre. It is extraordinarily useful in human affairs, human voices being distinguished from each other by it, and a great part of the joy of music lying in it.

A bell, a stretched string, a reed, or other sound-producing body, emits a certain lowest possible tone when vibrated. This is called its fundamental tone. The pitch, loudness, and timbre of this tone depend upon various controlling causes. Usually this fundamental tone is accompanied by a number of others of higher pitch, blending with it to form the general tone of that object. These higher tones are called harmonics. The Germans call them overtones. They are always of a frequency which is some multiple of the fundamental frequency. That is, the rate of vibration of a harmonic is 2, 3, 4, 5, or some other integral number, times as great as the fundamental itself. A tone having no harmonics is rare in nature and is not an attractive one. The tones of the human voice are rich in harmonics.

In any tone having a fundamental and harmonics (multiples), the wave-train consists of a complex series of condensations and rarefactions of the air or other transmitting medium. In the case of mere noises the train of vibrations is irregular and follows no definite order. This is the difference between vowel sounds and other musical tones on the one hand and all unmusical sounds (or noises) on the other.

Human Voice. Human beings communicate with each other in various ways. The chief method is by speech. Voice is sound vibration produced by the vocal cords, these being two ligaments in the larynx. The vocal cords in man are actuated by the air from the lungs. The size and tension of the vocal cords and the volume and the velocity of the air from the lungs control the tones of the voice. The more tightly the vocal cords be drawn, other things being equal, the higher will be the pitch of the sound; that is, the higher the frequency of vibration produced by the voice. The pitches of the human voice lie, in general, between the frequencies of 87 and 768 per second. These are the extremes of pitch, and it is not to be understood that any such range of pitch is utilized in ordinary speech. An average man speaks mostly between the fundamental frequencies of 85 and 160 per second. Many female speaking voices use fundamental frequencies between 150 and 320 vibrations per second. It is obvious from what has been said that in all cases these speaking fundamentals are accompanied by their multiples, giving complexity to the resulting wave-trains and character to the speaking voice.

Speech-sounds result from shocks given to the air by the organs of speech; these organs are principally the mouth cavity, the tongue, and the teeth. The vocal cords are voice-organs; that is, man only truly speaks, yet the lower animals have voice. Speech may be whispered, using no voice. Note the distinction between speech and voice, and the organs of both.

The speech of adults has a mean pitch lower than that of children; of adult males, lower than that of females.

There is no close analogue for the voice-organ in artificial mechanism, but the use of the lips in playing a bugle, trumpet, cornet, or trombone is a fairly close one. Here the lips, in contact with each other, are stretched across one end of a tube (the mouthpiece) while the air is blown between the lips by the lungs. A musical tone results; if the instrument be a bugle or a trumpet of fixed tube length, the pitch will be some one of several certain tones, depending on the tension on the lips. The loudness depends on the force of the blast of air; the character depends largely on the bugle.

Human Ear. The human ear, the organ of hearing in man, is a complex mechanism of three general parts, relative to sound waves: a wave-collecting part; a wave-observing part, and a wave-interpreting part.

The outer ear collects and reflects the waves inwardly to beat upon the tympanum, or ear drum, a membrane diaphragm. The uses of the rolls or convolutions of the outer ear are not conclusively known, but it is observed that when they are filled up evenly with a wax or its equivalent, the sense of direction of sound is impaired, and usually of loudness also.

The diaphragm of the ear vibrates when struck by sound waves, as does any other diaphragm. By means of bone and nerve mechanism, the vibration of the diaphragm finally is made known to the brain and is interpretable therein.

The human ear can appreciate and interpret sound waves at frequencies from 32 to about 32,000 vibrations per second. Below the lesser-number, the tendency is to appreciate the separate vibrations as separate sounds. Above the higher number, the vibrations are inaudible to the human ear. The most acute perception of sound differences lies at about 3,000 vibrations per second. It may be that the range of hearing of organisms other than man lies far above the range with which human beings are familiar. Some trained musicians are able to discriminate between two sounds as differing one from the other when the difference in frequency is less than one-thousandth of either number. Other ears are unable to detect a difference in two sounds when they differ by as much as one full step of the chromatic scale. Whatever faculty an individual may possess as to tone discrimination, it can be improved by training and practice.



The art of telephony in its present form has for its problem so to relate two diaphragms and an electrical system that one diaphragm will respond to all the fundamental and harmonic vibrations beating upon it and cause the other to vibrate in exact consonance, producing just such vibrations, which beat upon an ear.

The art does not do all this today; it falls short of it in every phase. Many of the harmonics are lost in one or another stage of the process; new harmonics are inserted by the operations of the system itself and much of the volume originally available fails to reappear. The art, however, has been able to change commercial and social affairs in a profound degree.

Conversion from Sound Waves to Vibration of Diaphragm. However produced, by the voice or otherwise, sounds to be transmitted by telephone consist of vibrations of the air. These vibrations, upon reaching a diaphragm, cause it to move. The greatest amplitude of motion of a diaphragm is, or is wished to be, at its center, and its edge ordinarily is fixed. The diaphragm thus serves as a translating device, changing the energy carried by the molecules of the air into localized oscillations of the matter of the diaphragm. The waves of sound in the air advance; the vibrations of the molecules are localized. The agency of the air as a medium for sound transmission should be understood to be one in which its general volume has no need to move from place to place. What occurs is that the vibrations of the sound-producer cause alternate condensations and rarefactions of the air. Each molecule of the air concerned merely oscillates through a small amplitude, producing, by joint action, shells of waves, each traveling outward from the sound-producing center like rapidly growing coverings of a ball.

Conversion from Vibration to Voice Currents. Fig. 1 illustrates a simple machine adapted to translate motion of a diaphragm into an alternating electrical current. The device is merely one form of magneto telephone chosen to illustrate the point of immediate conversion. 1 is a diaphragm adapted to vibrate in response to the sounds reaching it. 2 is a permanent magnet and 3 is its armature. The armature is in contact with one pole of the permanent magnet and nearly in contact with the other. The effort of the armature to touch the pole it nearly touches places the diaphragm under tension. The free arm of the magnet is surrounded by a coil 4, whose ends extend to form the line.

When sound vibrates the diaphragm, it vibrates the armature also, increasing and decreasing the distance from the free pole of the magnet. The lines of force threading the coil 4 are varied as the gap between the magnet and the armature is varied.

The result of varying the lines of force through the turns of the coil is to produce an electromotive force in them, and if a closed path is provided by the line, a current will flow. This current is an alternating one having a frequency the same as the sound causing it. As in speech the frequencies vary constantly, many pitches constituting even a single spoken word, so the alternating voice currents are of great varying complexity, and every fundamental frequency has its harmonics superposed.

Conversion from Voice Currents to Vibration. The best knowledge of the action of such a telephone as is shown in Fig. 1 leads to the conclusion that a half-cycle of alternating current is produced by an inward stroke of the diaphragm and a second half-cycle of alternating current by the succeeding outward stroke, these half-cycles flowing in opposite directions. Assume one complete cycle of current to pass through the line and also through another such device as in Fig. 1 and that the first half-cycle is of such direction as to increase the permanent magnetism of the core. The effort of this increase is to narrow the gap between the armature and pole piece. The diaphragm will throb inward during the half-cycle of current. The succeeding half-cycle being of opposite direction will tend to oppose the magnetism of the core. In practice, the flow of opposing current never would be great enough wholly to nullify and reverse the magnetism of the core, so that the opposition results in a mere decrease, causing the armature's gap to increase and the diaphragm to respond by an outward blow.

Complete Cycle of Conversion. The cycle of actions thus is complete; one complete sound-wave in air has produced a cycle of motion in a diaphragm, a cycle of current in a line, a cycle of magnetic change in a core, a cycle of motion in another diaphragm, and a resulting wave of sound. It is to be observed that the chain of operation involves the expenditure of energy only by the speaker, the only function of any of the parts being that of translating this energy from one form to another. In every stage of these translations, there are losses; the devising of means of limiting these losses as greatly as possible is a problem of telephone engineering.

Magneto Telephones. The device in Fig. 1 is a practical magneto receiver and transmitter. It is chosen as best picturing the idea to be proposed. Fig. 2 illustrates a pair of magneto telephones of the early Bell type; 1-1 are diaphragms; 2-2 are permanent magnets with a free end of each brought as near as possible, without touching, to the diaphragm. Each magnet bears on its end nearest the diaphragm a winding of fine wire, the two ends of each of these windings being joined by means of a two-wire line. All that has been said concerning Fig. 1 is true also of the electrical and magnetic actions of the devices of Fig. 2. In the latter, the flux which threads the fine wire winding is disturbed by motions of the transmitting diaphragm. This disturbance of the flux creates electromotive forces in those windings. Similarly, a variation of the electromotive forces in the windings varies the pull of the permanent magnet of the receiving instrument upon its diaphragm.

Fig. 3 illustrates a similar arrangement, but it is to be understood that the cores about which the windings are carried in this case are of soft iron and not of hard magnetized steel. The necessary magnetism which constantly enables the cores to exert a pull upon the diaphragm is provided by the battery which is inserted serially in the line. Such an arrangement in action differs in no particular from that of Fig. 2, for the reason that it matters not at all whether the magnetism of the core be produced by electromagnetic or by permanently magnetic conditions. The arrangement of Fig. 3 is a fundamental counterpart of the original telephone of Professor Bell, and it is of particular interest in the present stage of the art for the reason that a tendency lately is shown to revert to the early type, abandoning the use of the permanent magnet.

The modifications which have been made in the original magneto telephone, practically as shown in Fig. 2, have been many. Thirty-five years' experimentation upon and daily use of the instrument has resulted in its refinement to a point where it is a most successful receiver and a most unsuccessful transmitter. Its use for the latter purpose may be said to be nothing. As a receiver, it is not only wholly satisfactory for commercial use in its regular function, but it is, in addition, one of the most sensitive electrical detecting devices known to the art.

Loose Contact Principle. Early experimenters upon Bell's device, all using in their first work the arrangement utilizing current from a battery in series with the line, noticed that sound was given out by disturbing loose contacts in the line circuit. This observation led to the arrangement of circuits in such a way that some imperfect contacts could be shaken by means of the diaphragm, and the resistance of the line circuit varied in this manner. An early and interesting form of such imperfect contact transmitter device consisted merely of metal conductors laid loosely in contact. A simple example is that of three wire nails, the third lying across the other two, the two loose contacts thus formed being arranged in series with a battery, the line, and the receiving instrument. Such a device when slightly jarred, by the voice or other means, causes abrupt variation in the resistance of the line, and will transmit speech.

Early Conceptions. The conception of the possibility and desirability of transmitting speech by electricity may have occurred to many, long prior to its accomplishment. It is certain that one person, at least, had a clear idea of the general problem. In 1854, Charles Bourseul, a Frenchman, wrote: "I have asked myself, for example, if the spoken word itself could not be transmitted by electricity; in a word, if what was spoken in Vienna might not be heard in Paris? The thing is practicable in this way:

"Suppose that a man speaks near a movable disk sufficiently flexible to lose none of the vibrations of the voice; that this disk alternately makes and breaks the connection from a battery; you may have at a distance another disk which will simultaneously execute the same vibrations." The idea so expressed is weak in only one particular. This particular is shown by the words italicized by ourselves. It is impossible to transmit a complex series of waves by any simple series of makes and breaks. Philipp Reis, a German, devised the arrangement shown in Fig. 4 for the transmission of sound, letting the make and break of the contact between the diaphragm 1 and the point 2 interrupt the line circuit. His receiver took several forms, all electromagnetic. His success was limited to the transmission of musical sounds, and it is not believed that articulate speech ever was transmitted by such an arrangement.

It must be remembered that the art of telegraphy, particularly in America, was well established long before the invention of the telephone, and that an arrangement of keys, relays, and a battery, as shown in Fig. 5, was well known to a great many persons. Attaching the armatures of the relays of such a line to diaphragms, as in Fig. 6, at any time after 1838, would have produced the telephone. "The hardihood of invention" to conceive such a change was the quality required.

Limitations of Magneto Transmitter. For reasons not finally established, the ability of the magneto telephone to produce large currents from large sounds is not equal to its ability to produce large sounds from large currents. As a receiving device, it is unexcelled, and but slight improvement has been made since its first invention. It is inadequate as a transmitter, and as early as 1876, Professor Bell exhibited other means than electromagnetic action for producing the varying currents as a consequence of diaphragm motion. Much other inventive effort was addressed to this problem, the aim of all being to send out more robust voice currents.

Other Methods of Producing Voice Currents. Some of these means are the variation of resistance in the path of direct current, variation in the pressure of the source of that current, and variation in the electrostatic capacity of some part of the circuit.

Electrostatic Telephone. The latter method is principally that of Dolbear and Edison. Dolbear's thought is illustrated in Fig. 7. Two conducting plates are brought close together. One is free to vibrate as a diaphragm, while the other is fixed. The element 1 in Fig. 7 is merely a stud to hold rigid the plate it bears against. Each of two instruments connected by a line contains such a pair of plates, and a battery in the line keeps them charged to its potential. The two diaphragms of each instrument are kept drawn towards each other because their unlike charges attract each other. The vibration of one of the diaphragms changes the potential of the other pair; the degree of attraction thus is varied, so that vibration of the diaphragm and sound waves result.

Examples of this method of telephone transmission are more familiar to later practice in the form of condenser receivers. A condenser, in usual present practice, being a pair of closely adjacent conductors of considerable surface insulated from each other, a rapidly varying current actually may move one or both of the conductors. Ordinarily these are of thin sheet metal (foil) interleaved with an insulating material, such as paper or mica. Voice currents can vibrate the metal sheets in a degree to cause the condenser to speak. These condenser methods of telephony have not become commercial.

Variation of Electrical Pressure. Variation of the pressure of the source is a conceivable way of transmitting speech. To utilize it, would require that the vibrations of the diaphragm cause the electromotive force of a battery or machine to vary in harmony with the sound waves. So far as we are informed this method never has come into practical use.

Variation of Resistance. Variation of resistance proportional to the vibrations of the diaphragm is the method which has produced the present prevailing form of transmission. Professor Bell's Centennial exhibit contained a water-resistance transmitter. Dr. Elisha Gray also devised one. In both, the diaphragm acted to increase and diminish the distance between two conductors immersed in water, lowering and raising the resistance of the line. It later was discovered by Edison that carbon possesses a peculiarly great property of varying its resistance under pressure. Professor David E. Hughes discovered that two conducting bodies, preferably of rather poor conductivity, when laid together so as to form a loose contact between them, possessed, in remarkable degree, the ability to vary the resistance of the path through them when subject to such vibrations as would alter the intimacy of contact. He thus discovered and formulated the principles of loose contact upon which the operation of all modern transmitters rests. Hughes' device was named by him a "microphone," indicating a magnification of sound or an ability to respond to and make audible minute sounds. It is shown in Fig. 8. Firmly attached to a board are two carbon blocks, shown in section in the figure. A rod of carbon with cone-shaped ends is supported loosely between the two blocks, conical depressions in the blocks receiving the ends of the rod. A battery and magneto receiver are connected in series with the device. Under certain conditions of contact, the arrangement is extraordinarily sensitive to small sounds and approaches an ability indicated by its name. Its practical usefulness has been not as a serviceable speech transmitter, but as a stimulus to the devising of transmitters using carbon in other ways. Variation of the resistance of metal conductors and of contact between metals has served to transmit voice currents, but no material approaches carbon in this property.

Carbon. Adaptability. The application of carbon to use in transmitters has taken many forms. They may be classified as those having a single contact and those having a plurality of contacts; in all cases, the intimacy of contact is varied by the diaphragm excursions. An example of the single-contact type is the Blake transmitter, long familiar in America. An example of the multiple-contact type is the loose-carbon type universal now. Other types popular at other times and in particular places use solid rods or blocks of carbon having many points of contact, though not in a powdered or granular form. Fig. 9 shows an example of each of the general forms of transmitters.

The use of granular carbon as a transmitter material has extended greatly the radius of speech, and has been a principal contributing cause for the great spread of the telephone industry.

Superiority. The superiority of carbon over other resistance-varying materials for transmitters is well recognized, but the reason for it is not well known. Various theories have been proposed to explain why, for example, the resistance of a mass of carbon granules varies with the vibrations or compressions to which they are subjected.

Four principal theories respectively allege:

First, that change in pressure actually changes the specific resistance of carbon.

Second, that upon the surface of carbon bodies exists some gas in some form of attachment or combination, variations of pressure causing variations of resistance merely by reducing the thickness of this intervening gas.

Third, that the change of resistance is caused by variations in the length of electrical arcs between the particles.

Fourth, that change of pressure changes the area of contact, as is true of solids generally.

One may take his choice. A solid carbon block or rod is not found to decrease its resistance by being subjected to pressure. The gas theory lacks experimental proof also. The existence of arcs between the granules never has been seen or otherwise observed under normal working conditions of a transmitter; when arcs surely are experimentally established between the granules the usefulness of the transmitter ceases. The final theory, that change of pressure changes area of surface contact, does not explain why other conductors than carbon are not good materials for transmitters. This, it may be noticed, is just what the theories set out to make clear.

There are many who feel that more experimental data is required before a conclusive and satisfactory theory can be set up. There is need of one, for a proper theory often points the way for effective advance in practice.

Carbon and magneto transmitters differ wholly in their methods of action. The magneto transmitter produces current; the carbon transmitter controls current. The former is an alternating-current generator; the latter is a rheostat. The magneto transmitter produces alternating current without input of any electricity at all; the carbon transmitter merely controls a direct current, supplied by an external source, and varies its amount without changing its direction.

The carbon transmitter, however, may be associated with other devices in a circuit in such a way as to transform direct currents into alternating ones, or it may be used merely to change constant direct currents into undulating ones, which never reverse direction, as alternating currents always do. These distinctions are important.

Limitations. A carbon transmitter being merely a resistance-varying device, its usefulness depends on how much its resistance can vary in response to motions of air molecules. A granular-carbon transmitter may vary between resistances of 5 to 50 ohms while transmitting a particular tone, having the lower resistance when its diaphragm is driven inward. Conceive this transmitter to be in a line as shown in Fig. 10, the line, distant receiver, and battery together having a resistance of 1,000 ohms. The minimum resistance then is 1,005 ohms and the maximum 1,050 ohms. The variation is limited to about 4.5 per cent. The greater the resistance of the line and other elements than the transmitter, the less relative change the transmitter can produce, and the less loudly the distant receiver can speak.

Induction Coil. Mr. Edison realized this limitation to the use of the carbon transmitter direct in the line, and contributed the means of removing it. His method is to introduce an induction coil between the line and the transmitter, its function being to translate the variation of the direct current controlled by the transmitter into true alternating currents.

An induction coil is merely a transformer, and for the use under discussion consists of two insulated wires wound around an iron core. Change in the current carried by one of the windings produces a current in the other. If direct current be flowing in one of the windings, and remains constant, no current whatever is produced in the other. It is important to note that it is change, and change only, which produces that alternating current.

Fig. 11 shows an induction coil related to a carbon transmitter, a battery, and a receiver. Fig. 12 shows exactly the same arrangement, using conventional signs. The winding of the induction coil which is in series with the transmitter and the battery is called the primary winding; the other is called the secondary winding. In the arrangement of Figs. 11 and 12 the battery has no metallic connection with the line, so that it is called a local battery. The circuit containing the battery, transmitter, and primary winding of the induction coil is called the local circuit.

Let us observe what is the advantage of this arrangement over the case of Fig. 10. Using the same values of resistance in the transmitter and line, assume the local circuit apart from the transmitter to have a fixed resistance of 5 ohms. The limits of variations in the local circuit, therefore, are 10 and 55 ohms, thus making the maximum 5.5 times the minimum, or an increase of 450 per cent as against 4.5 per cent in the case of Fig. 10. The changes, therefore, are 100 times as great.

The relation between the windings of the induction coil in this practice are such that the secondary winding contains many more turns than the primary winding. Changes in the circuit of the primary winding produce potentials in the secondary winding correspondingly higher than the potentials producing them. These secondary potentials depend upon the ratio of turns in the two windings and therefore, within close limits, may be chosen as wished. High potentials in the secondary winding are admirably adapted to transmit currents in a high-resistance line, for exactly the same reason that long-distance power transmission meets with but one-quarter of one kind of loss when the sending potential is doubled, one-hundredth of that loss when it is raised tenfold, and similarly. The induction coil, therefore, serves the double purpose of a step-up transformer to limit line losses and a device for vastly increasing the range of change in the transmitter circuit.

Fig. 13 is offered to remind the student of the action of an induction coil or transformer in whose primary circuit a direct current is increased and decreased. An increase of current in the local winding produces an impulse of opposite direction in the turns of the secondary winding; a decrease of current in the local winding produces an impulse of the same direction in the turns of the secondary winding. The key of Fig. 13 being closed, current flows upward in the primary winding as drawn in the figure, inducing a downward impulse of current in the secondary winding and its circuit as noted at the right of the figure. On the key being opened, current ceases in the primary circuit, inducing an upward impulse of current in the secondary winding and circuit as shown. During other than instants of opening and closing (changing) the local circuit, no current whatever flows in the secondary circuit.

It is by these means that telephone transmitters draw direct current from primary batteries and send high-potential alternating currents over lines; the same process produces what in Therapeutics are called "Faradic currents," and enables also a simple vibrating contact-maker to produce alternating currents for operating polarized ringers of telephone sets.

Detrimental Effects of Capacity. Electrostatic capacity plays an important part in the transmission of speech. Its presence between the wires of a line and between them and the earth causes one of the losses from which long-distance telephony suffers. Its presence in condensers assists in the solution of many circuit and apparatus problems.

A condenser is a device composed of two or more conductors insulated from each other by a medium called the dielectric. A pair of metal plates separated by glass, a pair of wires separated by air, or a pair of sheets of foil separated by paper or mica may constitute a condenser. The use of condensers as pieces of apparatus and the problems presented by electrostatic capacity in lines are discussed in other chapters.

Measurements of Telephone Currents. It has been recognized in all branches of engineering that a definite advance is possible only when quantitative data exists. The lack of reliable means of measuring telephone currents has been a principal cause of the difficulty in solving many of its problems. It is only in very recent times that accurate and reliable means have been worked out for measuring the small currents which flow in telephone lines. These ways are of two general kinds: by thermal and by electromagnetic means.

Thermal Method. The thermal methods simply measure, in some way, the amount of heat which is produced by a received telephone current. When this current is allowed to pass through a conductor the effect of the heat generated in that conductor, is observed in one of three ways: by the expansion of the conductor, by its change in resistance, or by the production of an electromotive force in a thermo-electric couple heated by the conductor. Any one of these three ways can be used to get some idea of the amount of current which is received. None of them gives an accurate knowledge of the forms of the waves which cause the reproduction of speech in the telephone receiver.

Electromagnetic Method. An electromagnetic device adapted to tell something of the magnitude of the telephone current and also something of its form, i.e., something of its various increases and decreases and also of its changes in direction is the oscillograph. An oscillograph is composed of a magnetic field formed by direct currents or by a permanent magnet, a turn of wire under mechanical tension in that field, and a mirror borne by the turn of wire, adapted to reflect a beam of light to a photographic film or to a rotating mirror.

When a current is to be measured by the oscillograph, it is passed through the turn of wire in the magnetic field. While no current is passing, the wire does not move in the magnetic field and its mirror reflects a stationary beam of light. A photographic film moved in a direction normal to the axis of the turn of wire will have drawn upon it a straight line by the beam of light. If the beam of light, however, is moved by a current, from side to side at right angles to this axis, it will draw a wavy line on the photographic film and this wavy line will picture the alternations of that current and the oscillations of the molecules of air which carried the originating sound. Fig. 14 is a photograph of nine different vowel sounds which have caused the oscillograph to take their pictures. They are copies of records made by Mr. Bela Gati, assisted by Mr. Tolnai. The measuring instrument consisted of an oscillograph of the type described, the transmitter being of the carbon type actuated by a 2-volt battery. The primary current was transformed by an induction coil of the ordinary type and the transformed current was sent through a non-inductive resistance of 3,000 ohms. No condensers were placed in the circuit. It will be seen that the integral values of the curves, starting from zero, are variable. The positive and the negative portions of the curves are not equal, so that the solution of the individual harmonic motion is difficult and laborious.

These photographs point out several facts very clearly. One is that the alternations of currents in the telephone line, like the motions of the molecules of air of the original sound, are highly complex and are not, as musical tones are, regular recurrences of equal vibrations. They show also that any vowel sound may be considered to be a regular recurrence of certain groups of vibrations of different amplitudes and of different frequencies.



Electric calls or signals are of two kinds: audible and visible.

Audible Signals. Telegraph Sounder. The earliest electric signal was an audible one, being the telegraph sounder, or the Morse register considered apart from its registering function. Each telegraph sounder serves as an audible electric signal and is capable of signifying more than that the call is being made. Such a signal is operated by the making and breaking of current from a battery. An arrangement of this kind is shown in Fig. 15, in which pressure upon the key causes the current from the battery to energize the sounder and give one sharp audible rap of the lever upon the striking post.

Vibrating Bell. The vibrating bell, so widely used as a door bell, is a device consequent to the telegraph. Its action is to give a series of blows on its gong when its key or push button closes the battery circuit. At the risk of describing a trite though not trivial thing, it may be said that when the contact 1 of Fig. 16 is closed, current from the battery energizes the armature 2, causing the latter to strike a blow on the gong and to break the line circuit as well, by opening the contact back of the armature. So de-energized, the armature falls back and the cycle is repeated until the button contact is released. A comparison of this action with that of the polarized ringer (to be described later) will be found of interest.

Magneto-Bell. The magneto-bell came into wide use with the spread of telephone service. Its two fundamental parts are an alternating-current generator and a polarized bell-ringing device. Each had its counterpart long before the invention of the telephone, though made familiar by the latter. The alternating-current generator of the magneto-bell consists of a rotatable armature composed of a coil of insulated wire and usually a core of soft iron, its rotation taking place in a magnetic field. This field is usually provided by a permanent magnet, hence the name "magneto-generator." The purist in terms may well say, however, that every form whatever of the dynamo-electric generator is a magneto-generator, as magnetism is one link in every such conversion of mechanical power into electricity. The terms magneto-electric, magneto-generator, etc., involving the term "magneto," have come to imply the presence of permanently magnetized steel as an element of the construction.

In its early form, the magneto-generator consisted of the arrangement shown in Fig. 17, wherein a permanent magnet can rotate on an axis before an electromagnet having soft iron cores and a winding. Reversals of magnetism produce current in alternately reversing half-cycles, one complete rotation of the magnet producing one such cycle. Obviously the result would be the same if the magnet were stationary and the coils should rotate, which is the construction of more modern devices. The turning of the crank of a magneto-bell rotates the armature in the magnetic field by some form of gearing at a rate usually of the order of twenty turns per second, producing an alternating current of that frequency. This current is caused by an effective electromotive force which may be as great as 100 volts, produced immediately by the energy of the user. In an equipment using a magneto-telephone as both receiver and transmitter and a magneto-bell as its signal-sending machine, as was usual in 1877, it is interesting to note that the entire motive power for signals and speech transmission was supplied by the muscular tissues of the user—a case of working one's passage.

The alternating current from the generator is received and converted into sound by means of the polarized ringer, a device which is interesting as depending upon several of the electrical, mechanical, and magnetic actions which are the foundations of telephone engineering.

"Why the ringer rings" may be gathered from a study of Figs. 18 to 21. A permanent magnet will impart temporary magnetism to pieces of iron near it. In Fig. 18 two pieces of iron are so energized. The ends of these pieces which are nearest to the permanent magnet 1 are of the opposite polarity to the end they approach, the free ends being of opposite polarity. In the figure, these free ends are marked N, meaning they are of a polarity to point north if free to point at all. English-speaking persons call this north polarity. Similarly, as in Fig. 19, any arrangement of iron near a permanent magnet always will have free poles of the same polarity as the end of the permanent magnet nearest them.

A permanent magnet so related to iron forms part of a polarized ringer. So does an electromagnet composed of windings and iron cores. Fig. 20 reminds us of the law of electromagnets. If current flows from the plus towards the minus side, with the windings as drawn, polarities will be induced as marked.

If, now, such an electromagnet, a permanent magnet, and a pivoted armature be related to a pair of gongs as shown in Fig. 21, a polarized ringer results. It should be noted that a permanent magnet has both its poles presented (though one of the poles is not actually attached) to two parts of the iron of the electro-magnet. The result is that the ends of the armature are of south polarity and those of the core are of north polarity. All the markings of Fig. 21 relate to the polarity produced by the permanent magnet. If, now, a current flow in the ringer winding from plus to minus, obviously the right-hand pole will be additively magnetized, the current tending to produce north magnetism there; also the left-hand pole will be subtractively magnetized, the current tending to produce south magnetism there. If the current be of a certain strength, relative to the certain ringer under study, magnetism in the left pole will be neutralized and that in the right pole doubled. Hence the armature will be attracted more by the right pole than by the left and will strike the right-hand gong. A reversal of current produces an opposite action, the left-hand gong being struck. The current ceasing, the armature remains where last thrown.

It is important to note that the strength of action depends upon the strength of the current up to a certain point only. That depends upon the strength of the permanent magnet. Whenever the current is great enough just to neutralize the normal magnetism of one pole and to double that of the other, no increase in current will cause the device to ring any louder. This makes obvious the importance of a proper permanent magnetism and displays the fallacy of some effort to increase the output of various devices depending upon these principles. This discussion of magneto-electric signaling is introduced here because of a belief in its being fundamental. Chapter VIII treats of such a signaling in further detail.

Telephone Receiver. The telephone receiver itself serves a useful purpose as an audible signal. An interrupted or alternating current of proper frequency and amount will produce in it a musical tone which can be heard throughout a large room. This fact enables a telephone central office to signal a subscriber who has left his receiver off the switch hook, so that normal conditions may be restored.

Visible Signals. Electromagnetic Signal. Practical visual signals are of two general kinds: electromagnetic devices for moving a target or pointer, and incandescent lamps. The earliest and most widely used visible signal in telephone practice was the annunciator, having a shutter adapted to fall when the magnet is energized. Fig. 22 is such a signal. Shutter 1 is held by the catch 2 from dropping to the right by its own gravity. The name "gravity-drop" is thus obvious. Current energizing the core attracts the armature 3, lifts the catch 2, and the shutter falls. A simple modification of the gravity-drop produces the visible signal shown in Fig. 23. Energizing the core lifts a target so as to render it visible through an opening in the plate 1. A contrast of color between the plate and the target heightens the effect.

The gravity-drop is principally adapted to the magneto-bell system of signaling, where an alternating current is sent over the line to a central office by the operation of a bell crank at the subscriber's station, this current, lasting only as long as the crank is turned, energizes the drop, which may be restored by hand or otherwise and will remain latched. The visible signal is better adapted to lines in which the signaling is done by means of direct current, as, for example, in systems where the removal of the receiver from the hook at the subscriber's station closes the line circuit, causing current to flow through the winding of the visible signal and so displaying it until the receiver has been hung upon the hook or the circuit opened by some operation at the central office. Visible signals of the magnetic type of Fig. 23 have been widely used in connection with common-battery systems, both for line signals and for supervisory purposes, indicating the state and the progress of the connection and conversation.

Electric-Lamp Signal. Incandescent electric lamps appeared in telephony as a considerable element about 1890. They are better than either form of mechanical visible signals because of three principal qualities: simplicity and ease of restoring them to normal as compared with drops; their compactness; and their greater prominence when displayed. Of the latter quality, one may say that they are more insistent, as they give out light instead of reflecting it, as do all other visible signals. In its best form, the lamp signal is mounted behind a hemispherical lens, either slightly clouded or cut in facets. This lens serves to distribute the rays of light from the lamp, with the result that the signal may be seen from a wide angle with the axis of the lens, as shown in Fig. 24. This is of particular advantage in connection with manual-switchboard connecting cords, as it enables the signals to be mounted close to and even among the cords, their great visible prominence when shining saving them from being hidden.

The influence of the lamp signal was one of the potent ones in the development of the type of multiple switchboard which is now universal as the mechanism of large manual exchanges. The first large trial of such an equipment was in 1896 in Worcester, Mass. No large and successful multiple switchboard with any other type of signal has been built since that time.

Any electric signal has upper and lower limits of current between which it is to be actuated. It must receive current enough to operate but not enough to become damaged by overheating. The magnetic types of visible signals have a wider range between these limits than have lamp signals. If current in a lamp is too little, its filament either will not glow at all or merely at a dull red, insufficient for a proper signal. If the current is too great, the filament is heated beyond its strength and parts at the weakest place.

This range between current limits in magnetic visible signals is great enough to enable them to be used direct in telephone lines, the operating current through the line and signal in series with a fixed voltage at the central office being not harmfully great when the entire line resistance is shunted out at or near the central office. The increase of current may be as great as ten times without damage to the winding of such a signal. In lamps, the safe margin is much less. The current which just gives a sufficient lighting of the signal may be about doubled with safety to the filament of the lamp. Consequently it is not feasible to place the lamp directly in series with long exposed lines. A short circuit of such a line near the central office will burn it out.

The qualities of electromagnets and lamps in these respects are used to advantage by the lamp signal arrangement shown in Fig. 25. A relay is in series with the line and provides a large range of sensibility. It is able to carry any current the central-office current source can pass through it. The local circuit of the relay includes the lamp. Energizing the relay lights the lamp, and the reverse; the lamp is thus isolated from danger and receives the current best adapted to its needs.

All lines are not long and when enclosed in cable or in well-insulated interior wire, may be only remotely in danger of being short-circuited. Such conditions exist in private-branch exchanges, which are groups of telephones, usually local to limited premises, connected to a switchboard on those premises. Such a situation permits the omission of the line relay, the lamp being directly in the line. Fig. 26 shows the extreme simplicity of the arrangement, containing no moving parts or costly elements. Lamps for such service have improved greatly since the demand began to grow. The small bulk permitted by the need of compactness, the high filament resistance required for simplicity of the general power scheme of the system, and the need of considerable sturdiness in the completed thing have made the task a hard one. The practical result, however, is a signal lamp which is highly satisfactory.

The nature of carbon and certain earths being that their conductivity rises with the temperature and that of metals being that their conductivity falls with the temperature, has enabled the Nernst lamp to be successful. The same relation of properties has enabled incandescent-lamp signals to be connected direct to lines without relays, but compensated against too great a current by causing the resistance in series with the lamp to be increased inversely as the resistance of the filament. Employment of a "ballast" resistance in this way is referred to in Chapter XI. In Fig. 27 is shown its relation to a signal lamp directly in the line. 1 is the carbon-filament lamp; 2 is the ballast. The latter's conductor is fine iron wire in a vacuum. The resistance of the lamp falls as that of the ballast rises. Within certain limits, these changes balance each other, widening the range of allowable change in the total resistance of the line.



The line is a path over which the telephone current passes from telephone to telephone. The term "telephone line circuit" is equivalent. "Line" and "line circuit" mean slightly different things to some persons, "line" meaning the out-of-doors portion of the line and "line circuit" meaning the indoor portion, composed of apparatus and associated wiring. Such shades of meaning are inevitable and serve useful purposes. The opening definition hereof is accurate.

A telephone line consists of two conductors. One of these conductors may be the earth; the other always is some conducting material other than the earth—almost universally it is of metal and in the form of a wire. A line using one wire and the earth as its pair of conductors has several defects, to be discussed later herein. Both conductors of a line may be wires, the earth serving as no part of the circuit, and this is the best practice. A line composed of one wire and the earth is called a grounded line; a line composed of two wires not needing the earth as a conductor is called a metallic circuit.

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