Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/581

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Fig. 6 represents a section of Bell's telephone. E E is the diaphragm, F the tube, B the silk-covered wire wound upon the spool, extending C, to the binding-screws D D, where they are connected with the line-wires. The magnet A has its distance from the diaphragm adjusted by the screw at the opposite end. Fig. 7 represents the form and aspect of the instrument as used. It is about five or six inches long and two and a half inches broad at its widest part. In sending a message, the instrument is held to the mouth,

PSM V12 D581 Bell telephone.jpg
Fig. 6.

and the words distinctly spoken in ordinary tones or even a whisper. The instrument is then held to the ear to receive the answer. Instead of this, two telephones connected may be used at each station, so that one may be held to the ear all the time, while the other is used for telephoning, as illustrated in Fig. 8; and this one, too, in hearing a long message, or in a noisy room, may be held to the other ear, and so shut out all other sounds. This also gives two persons a chance to hear at the same time, by giving a telephone to each.

Several telephones may be connected together in one office, so that any number of persons, by having one each, may hear the game message. In singing, each singer has a telephone. At the late fair of the American Institute, we were one evening listening to a quartet of college-boys, uproariously singing "Upidee i-dee-i-da," in the Tribune Building, through six miles of wire, when suddenly all was still. "Hello!" we shouted. "Hello you!" was answered back. "What's the matter?" "Big fire in Leonard Street. The fire is—" "Never mind the fire; go on with the singing," we rejoined, and the singing went on with "The Red, White, and Blue." The impression produced by listening to a communication through this instrument has been aptly described as follows: "The voice, whether in speaking or singing, has a weird, curious sound in the telephone. It is in a measure ventriloqual in character; and, with the telephone held an inch or two from the ear, it has the effect as if some one were singing far off in the building, or the sound were coming up from a vaulted cellar or through a massive stone-wall." The singing or speaking is heard microscopically, as it were, or rather microphonically, but wonderfully distinct and clear in character. The enchantment of distance is there, and one listens as to sounds from fairy-land.