Reis telephone, 19th century

Reis telephone, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Reis telephone. This rudimentary telephone by the German inventor Johann Philipp Reis (1834-1874) was first built in 1860 and was based on the principle of magnetostriction. Wire coiled around iron cores and needles caused contraction when current flowed (from batteries, upper left), producing an audible click in a resonator. However, the sounds were faint, and there was little interest in the invention. The practical development of the telephone was achieved by others, such as Alexander Graham Bell. Artwork from the eighth volume (second period of 1891) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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