Early telephone receivers, late 19th-early 20th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
These receivers with wooden handles and square diaphragms are believed to have been the property of telephony pioneer Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922). After experimenting with various acoustical devices, Bell (1847-1922) produced the first intelligible telephonic transmision with a mesage to his asistant on 5 June 1875. He patented this device as the telephone in 1876, a patent he had to defend against Elisha Gray. Bell, who became a naturalised American in 1874, also invented the phonograph (1880) and the gramophone (1887).