Http Www.History.Com This-Day-In-History First-Commercial-Movie-Screened History, Growth And Development Of Modern Microphones

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History, Growth And Development Of Modern Microphones

The word microphone comes from the Greek words micro meaning small, and phone meaning voice. It first appeared in the dictionary in 1683 as a tool with which small sounds are amplified.

This was in reference to the acoustic hearing aids such as ear trumpets and megaphones of the time. Microphones were introduced with the first articulated telephone transmitters, developed almost simultaneously by Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell. Then it was used as a fluid transmitter, which was a variable resistance device. But the poor quality of these fluid transmitters has caused a number of inventors to look for alternative ways of designing.

entered the telephone business in late 1877. Now that two companies were trying to develop a better transmitter, other experimenters began to appear and offer their devices. David Edward Hughes was one such person who designed a new type of microphone, using carbon grains loosely packed in an enclosed space. In response to the changing pressure of the sonic diaphragm, the electrical resistance through the carbon granules changed proportionally.

Another prominent scientist Thomas Alva Edison perfected the carbon grain microphone, resulting in the carbon button transmitter in 1886. The Edison transmitter was simple and cheap to manufacture, but also very efficient and durable. It became the basis for the telephone transmitters used in millions of telephones worldwide.

The next important step in transmitter design was by Henry Hennings from England. He used coca grains between the diaphragm and a metal back plate. This design originated in 1878 and was patented in 1879. This transmitter was very efficient and could carry more current than its competitors. Its only drawback was that it had a tendency to pack up and lose its sensitivity.

The advent of electric disc recording and radio broadcasting in the early 1920s stimulated the development of better quality carbon microphones. The year 1920 ushered in the era of commercial broadcasting. Some of the hobbyists and knowledgeable singers started playing records and using microphones with their shows. The early radio station used the candlestick telephone for the microphone.

The typical transmitter element at this time was the Western Electric No 323. At first it was used to talk to it like you use a telephone. The next step was to provide the entertainers with a microphone that would allow them to stand and perform. For this application the constructor took the candlestick telephone transmitter, replaced the short mouthpiece with a megaphone and slipped this combination into a felt-coated bakelite sleeve about eight inches long and placed small screws at each end to hang it from above.

The first microphone made for the film industry was the PB17. It was a sandblasted aluminum cylinder, 17 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. The bottom was yoked to hold the ribbon element, which had a protective perforated screen. The magnetic structure used an electromagnet that required six volts at one ampere.

In recent years, some of the more radical approaches to designing microphone models have involved motion detection, in response to changes in sound pressure, of charged particles, a system analogous to the ion speaker. Miniature optical interfaces and related devices developed for the telecommunications industries, such as miniature laser diodes, polarized beam splitters, and photodiodes, now aid in the construction of high-quality optical microphones.

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