Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018

The telephone

The telephone

Ingress för att beskriva innovationen

The telephone

Two Swedish tabletop telephones - one of them was made in the beginning of the 20th century, the other is Ericsson’s “Cobra” phone launched in 1953. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

The telephone

Telephone pole worker in 1953. It is an unusual sight nowadays. Photo: Archives of National Museum of Science and Technology.

Kort fakta om innovationen

Kort fakta (2) om innovationen

Rubrik för små genier


The telephone

A phone call turns into electrical signals at one end and then into sound again at the receiver. With the telephone people could suddenly talk with each other without being in the same place.

Alexander Bell´s 1876 patent on the first telephone was contested immediately. In 2002 the US congress passed a resolution recognizing Antonio Meucci as the inventor.

Phone calls were initially connected manually. The more telephones, the more telephonists. To avoid half of the population being needed to connect calls to the other half, Lars Magnus Ericsson designed an automatic exchange in 1883.

The network of poles and wires has in time been complemented with radio links, satellite connections and optical fibres for higher capacity of transmission. The phone call continues to exist even though by using the IP network it has left the wire for wireless.

Rubrik för nördar



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