Alexander Graham Bell’s Light Phone

Photophone_transmitter_4074931746_9f996df841_b

The photophone was similar to a contemporary telephone, except that it used modulated light as a means of wireless transmission while the telephone relied on modulated electricity carried over a conductive wire circuit.

The brightness of a reflected beam of light, as observed from the location of the receiver, therefore varied in accordance with the audio-frequency variations in air pressure—the sound waves—which acted upon the mirror.

Photophone_receiver_4074172975_288f2808f0_o

Bell was immensely proud of the achievement, to the point that he wanted to name his new second daughter “Photophone”, which was subtly discouraged by his wife Mabel Bell.

[H]is design failed to protect its transmissions from outdoor interferences such as clouds, fog, rain, snow and such, that could easily disrupt the transmission of light.

Via Wikipedia.

This entry was posted in Gadgets, History by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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