New Year's Greeting By Telephone, 1882.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Scene showing what was named a 'telephonic seance' in which the listeners with their 'hearing tubes' all hear the same mesage from the speaker elsewhere. The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) and first exhibited at American Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in June 1876. Telephones did not appear in England until the following year, when W H Preece, electrician to the Post Office, brought two telephones back from a visit to America and, although he himself remained sceptical as to their usefulnes, demonstrated them to the British Asociation. Plate from the 'Illustrated London News'.