Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/415

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411
DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE SERVICE

bell to a partition in his store, attached the Blake transmitter below the magneto, and screwed an empty soap-box underneath the transmitter. He placed the batteries in the box and made the top of the box serve as a desk on which to record orders received over the telephone. It is said that the partition suggested to an observant telephone man the back-board of the present telephone set, while the soap box suggested the usual battery-box. At any rate, about that time began the movement towards uniformity in equipment, economy in maintenance and artistic serviceability in installation. No matter how expert the installer, it was a difficult task to quickly and neatly install several parts of a telephone set, where each part had to be firmly attached to the wall, especially in handsome residences. Thus the more compact forms were welcomed innovations. But they had one

PSM V70 D415 Elaborately designed wall phones for wealthy homes 1879.png
Fig. 35. Fig. 36.

exasperating defect. The Blake transmitter, instead of being placed flush with the front of the bell box was set in so far as to lead to much vexation of spirit, through the subscriber's forehead coming in contact with the bell box.

In referring to the early telephone equipment, Mr. B. E. Sunny stated, in 1887, that

the field for improvement in the construction of subscribers' apparatus is a particularly broad one. The entire outfit is crude and defective, and it represents a smaller growth towards perfection than anything else that we have in the service. The magneto as constructed to-day (1887) is a cheap looking affair, except the new Gilliland, and they are all more or less unreliable, while after ten years' experience we ought to have an instrument that would look in keeping with the furnishings of the finest residence or office, and that would be free from electrical defects.