Recognising the first generation inventors III

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The second part of this article was published on 28th July 2017 but couldn’t continue due to exigency of the last five articles on my meeting with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn and ASABE.
The articles focused on Global food insecurity and innovations to address the gargantuan challenge of hunger, thirsty and poverty, which cause human indignity and squalor.
“Discovering of electricity” was the issue under discussion in that article, which was attributed to Benjamin Franklin, a famous American inventor who was born on Sunday, January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts, which was then under British colony.
Franklin was the first to make a cutting-edge discovering of electricity that opened window for better understanding and utilization of this God given source of energy – electricity.
Thus, he is considered as a “founding father” of electricity. Franklin conducted a famous kite and a silk ribbon in a thunderstorm experiment in 1752, exactly 265 years ago that created foundation for clear discovery and understanding of electricity.
The Franklin’s experiment was a watershed moment in mankind’s question to channel a force of nature once thought to be the wrath of God to humanity. Hitherto, Electricity was not a well-understood phenomenon, so Franklin’s discovery proved to be fairly foundational. Franklin’s frantic effort in discovering electricity made him received an electric shock that nearly burns him.
That early brush with the dangers of electricity left an impression on him. He was quoted describing the sensation as “a universal blow throughout my whole body from head to foot, which seemed within as well as without; after which the first thing I took notice of was a violent quick shaking of my body.”

early inventors
Alexander-Graham-Bell Inventor of Telephone.jpeg

However, it didn’t scare him away. Instead, it made him more curious, put in more effort until he finally laid a solid foundation for a better discovery of electricity. Franklin contributed distinctively to the “science of electricity” from the design of first battery to the establishment of some common nomenclature in the study of electricity.
It’s thanks to Franklin effort, for instance, that electric charges are referred to positive and negative charges. Before him, they were known as “vitreous” and “resinous” charges.
There after, several efforts were made to expand the use of Franklin discovery on the myth called electricity. It was only in 1831, electricity became viable for use in technology when Michael Faraday created the electric dynamo.
The dynamo is a power generating system, which generates electric current in a practical way. Faraday’s rather crude invention used a magnet that was moved inside a coil of copper wire, creating a tiny electric current that flowed through the wire.
This opened the door to American Thomas Edison and British scientist Joseph Swan who each invented the incandescent filament light bulb in their respective countries in about 1878. Previously, others had invented ordinary light bulbs, but the incandescent bulb was the first practical bulb that could light for hours on end. That was the early story of electric power generation, use and the inventors who championed the discovery.
The next important technology that facilitated the development of human civilization before Stone Age is telecommunication. It is a transmission of information through sound, words or visual from a distance.
Naturally, telecommunication has been part and parcel of human evolution, thus, it is historically difficult to credit individuals or groups for the discovery of telecommunication. This is because humans have communicated with one another in some shape or form ever since time immemorial.
Record shows that evidence of telecommunication dated back to 3500 BC, when the stone features proto-cuneiform signs, which was basically rudimentary symbols that convey meaning through its pictorial resemblance to a physical object.
Similar to this early form of writing was the ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs around 3200 BC. In China, a written language was noticed around 1200 BC and a similar thing was also observed around 600 BC in the America.
Historical evidence revealed that China was using “smoke signal” to communicate between regions of 100s kilometers apart. “In a matter of hours, Chinese soldiers stationed on the Great Wall could warn their comrades 800 kilometers away of impending enemy attack via tower to tower smoke signals” – a quotation from an online Newspaper; www.conferencecallsunlimited.
Image result for first telephone
First generation telephone

As humans neared the end of the B.C. period, the system of long distance communication started to become more commonplace. Human messengers on foot or horseback were the common means of passing information from one place to another in Egypt and China.
In the year 14 AD, the Romans established the first postal service in the western world. While such postal service was considered to be the first well-documented mail delivery system in Europe, other countries in Asia such as India and China had already owned such services.
Before the beginning of AD, the means of communication was mainly through signs and writing. The major breakthrough came when the audio became a pathway for effective communication between places separated by long distance.
After successful use of writings and signs to communicate, the next hurdle was to device a way of transmitting sound between far away distances.
The idea for a “speaking telegraph” was kicked around as early as 1843 when Italian inventor Innocenzo Manzetti began broaching the concept. And while Manzetti and others explored the notion of transmitting sound across distances, it was Alexander Graham Bell who ultimately invented telephone.
He was born on March 3rd, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland; he was the son of Alexander Melville Bell, a professor of speech elocution at the University of Edinburgh. His father was the inventor of “visible speech,” an alphabet that used symbols to represent human sounds.
The young Bell was home-schooled until he was 11, when he was sent to Edinburgh’s Royal High School for four years: he enjoyed science, but he was reported to be a “below average student” academically.
The Bell family migrated to Canada in 1870, and in 1871 young Bell moved to Boston, Massachusetts as a teacher to the deaf. He worked on ways to translate the human voice into vibrations, and thus came up with the idea for the telephone. When he was 25, Bell opened his School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech in Boston, MA, where he taught deaf people to speak.
At the age of 26, although Bell was yet to earn a university degree, he became Professor of Vocal Physiology and Elocution at the Boston University School of Oratory, it was done out of a recognition for his tremendous academic achievements in his chosen area. In 1875, Bell began working with Thomas Watson, a mechanically inclined electrician; by 1876 Bell had uttered the first intelligible sentence over the phone: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.”
He was granted a patent in the same year (1876) for “Improvements in Telegraphy,” which laid out the underlying technology for electromagnetic telephones. Bell was credited for invention or improvement of several devices along communication line.
Image result for modern telephone
Modern telephone

He improved Thomas Edison’s phonograph, he invented the multiple telegraph in 1875, the hydro-airplane, the photosensitive selenium cell (the photo-phone, a wireless phone) which was developed with Sumner Tainter. He developed new techniques for teaching the deaf to speak. In 1882, Bell and his father-in-law, Gardiner Hubbard, bought and re-organized the journal “Science.” Bell,
He developed new techniques for teaching the deaf to speak. In 1882, Bell and his father-in-law, Gardiner Hubbard, bought and re-organized the journal “Science.” Bell, Hubbard and others founded the National Geographic Society in 1888; Bell was the President of the National Geographic Society from 1898 to 1903. He was certainly a great scientist whose immeasurable contributions led the foundation revolution in communication globally.
He was certainly a great scientist whose immeasurable contributions led the foundation revolution in communication globally.
At the age of 26, although Bell was yet to earn a university degree, he became Professor of Vocal Physiology and Elocution at the Boston University School of Oratory, it was done out of a recognition for his tremendous academic achievements in his chosen area. In 1875, Bell began working with Thomas Watson, a mechanically inclined electrician; by 1876 Bell had uttered the first intelligible sentence over the phone: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.” He was granted a patent in
In 1875, Bell began working with Thomas Watson, a mechanically inclined electrician; by 1876 Bell had uttered the first intelligible sentence over the phone: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.” He was granted a patent in the same year (1876) for “Improvements in Telegraphy,” which laid out the underlying technology for electromagnetic telephones. Bell was credited for invention or improvement of several devices along communication line.
He improved Thomas Edison’s phonograph, he invented the multiple telegraph in 1875, the hydro-airplane, the photosensitive selenium cell (the photo-phone, a wireless phone) which was developed with Sumner Tainter. He developed new techniques for teaching the deaf to speak.
In 1882, Bell and his father-in-law, Gardiner Hubbard, bought and re-organized the journal “Science.” Bell, Hubbard and others founded the National Geographic Society in 1888; Bell was the President of the National Geographic Society from 1898 to 1903. He was certainly a great scientist whose immeasurable contributions led the foundation revolution in communication globally.
The next step the invention of answering machine, in case someone called and the responder wasn’t available. Communication gap? At the turn of the 20th century, a Danish inventor named Valdemar Poulsen set the tone for the answering machine with the invention of the tele-graphone, the first device capable of recording and playing back the magnetic fields produced by sound. The magnetic recordings also became the foundation for mass data storage formats such as audio disc and tape (To be continued next week).

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