Alexander Graham Bell Experimental Telephone

  • -thumbnail 1
  • -thumbnail 2
  • -thumbnail 3
  • -thumbnail 4
  • -thumbnail 5
  • -thumbnail 6
Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated several experimental telephones at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. This unit features a single electro-magnet and could be used both as transmitter and receiver. Bell approached the problem of transmitting speech differently from other telephone inventors like Elisha Gray and Thomas Edison. They were mostly experienced telegraphers trying to make a better telegraph. Bell's study of hearing and speech more strongly influenced his work.
National Museum of American History
Bell, Alexander G.
Physical Description
wood (base material)
brass (posts material)
tin (mouthpiece material)
brass (brackets material)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 5 in x 11 in; 16.51 cm x 12.7 cm x 27.94 cm
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Artifact Walls exhibit
Computers & Business Machines
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Object Name
experimental telephone
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Related Publication
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America