Boston in Suffolk County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Birthplace of the Telephone
Alexander Graham Bell and
Thomas A. Watson
first transmitted sound over wires.
This successful experiment was completed in a fifth floor garret at what was then 109 Court Street and marked the beginning of world-wide telephone service.
On back of monument:
Location. 42° 21.637′ N, 71° 3.616′ W. Marker is in Boston, Massachusetts, in Suffolk County. Marker is on Cambridge Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is roughly between the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Federal Building and Boston City Hall. It is in Boston’s Government Center (formerly Scollay Square). Marker is in this post office area: Boston MA 02108, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The First Governor (approx. 0.2 miles away); Welcome to King’s Chapel Burying Ground (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pilgrims and Patriots (approx. 0.2 miles away); King’s Chapel Burial Ground (approx. 0.2 miles away); New England Courant (approx. 0.2 miles away); William Dawes Jr. Life and Death in Colonial Boston (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Ice King, the Castle Captain, and the She-Merchant (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Boston.
Regarding Birthplace of the Telephone. The experiment referred to on this marker occurred when Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson were trying to perfect a “harmonic telegraph” — one that could use different sound-wave frequencies to transmit several telegraph signals (more than one message) simultaneously over the same wire. In his 2010 book, A City So Grand: The Rise of an American
Metropolis, Boston 1850–1900, Stephen Puleo describes how the men were in different rooms when Watson, trying to get a stuck reed to vibrate, gave it a pluck. Bell, in the receiving room, distinctly heard the “twang” of the reed and instantly realized that if this complex sound could be transmitted over a wire, so might a human voice.
Within a few months Bell rented new space on Exeter Street in Boston, several blocks south of here, so they could continue their experiments. It was in the Exeter Street lab that on March 10, 1876, Bell transmitted his famous words,
Also see . . . Alexander Graham Bell - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on November 23, 2011, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.)
Categories. • Communications • Science & Medicine •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 421 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.