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Alexander Graham Bell is commonly credited as the inventor of the first practical telephone. He was the first to obtain a patent, in 1876, for an apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically, after experimenting with many primitive sound transmitters and receivers. Bell's telephone transmitter (microphone) consisted of a single permanently magnetized bar magnet having a small coil or bobbin of fine wire surrounding one pole, in front of which a thin disc of iron was fixed in a circular mouthpiece. The disc served as a combined diaphragm and armature. On speaking into the mouthpiece, the iron diaphragm vibrated with the voice in the magnetic field of the bar-magnet pole, and thereby caused undulatory currents in the coil. These currents, after traveling through the wire to the distant receiver, were received in an identical apparatus. This design was patented by Bell on January 30, 1877.
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