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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Boston in Suffolk County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Birthplace of the Telephone

 
 
Birthplace of the Telephone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, November 19, 2011
1. Birthplace of the Telephone Marker
Inscription.
Here on June 2, 1875,
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:
Birthplace
of the
First Telephone

 
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. Touch 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.
Wider View image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, November 19, 2011
2. Wider View
As you view this side of the monument, the JFK Federal Building is behind and to your right.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); 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). Touch for a list and map 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
Back of Monument image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, November 19, 2011
3. Back of Monument
words, “Mr. Watson, come here. . . . I want to see you.”
 
Also see . . .  Alexander Graham Bell - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on November 23, 2011, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.)
 
Categories. CommunicationsScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2011, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 23, 2011, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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