Someone posted this to the antique radio newsgroup and I thought it was
appropriate to put it here.....Wireless telephony is 125 years old!


Bell's Brilliant Idea
Sometimes it just takes time to work out the kinks.

Sunday, May 29, 2005; Page B08

The next time you're distracted by the ringing of someone's cell phone,
consider this: Washington is the birthplace of the blessing -- or the
curse -- of wireless telephony.

This Friday marks the 125th anniversary of the world's first wireless
telephone call.

On June 3, 1880, Bell's collaborator, Charles Sumner Tainter, set a
transmitter atop the Franklin School, a building that still stands at
13th and K streets NW [in Washington DC]. With Bell manning a receiver
in his laboratory 700 feet away at 1325 L St. NW, Tainter uttered the
less-than-immortal words, "Mr. Bell, if you hear what I say, come to
the window and wave your hat."

Incredibly, 15 years before Guglielmo Marconi's first successful radio
transmissions, Tainter saw the hat wave.

Bell's device relied not on radio waves but on sunlight. His
"photophone" used an array of mirrors and lenses, with the vibrations
from the speaker's voice modulating a beam of polarized light.

A parabolic reflector at the receiving end collected the beam, focusing
it on a selenium cell that converted the modulations into electrical
signals. The signals fed to a telephone earpiece and became sound.

See More: Wireless 125th anniversary....