The term " telephony " was first used by Philipp Reis of Friedrichsdorf, in a lecture delivered before the Physical Society of Frankfort in 1861.1 But, although this lecture and Reis's subsequent work received considerable notice, little progress was made until the subject was taken up between 1874 and 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, a native of Edinburgh, then resident in Boston, Mass., U.S.A. Bell, like Reis, employed electricity for the reproduction of sounds; but he attacked the problem in a totally different manner.
Experiments bearing on this subject were subsequently made by a great number of investigators.4 Page's discovery is of considerable importance in connexion with the theory of action of various forms of telephone, and was a very important feature in the early attempts by Reis to transit music and speech.
These suggestions were to some extent an anticipation of the work of Reis; but the conditions to be fulfilled before the sounds given out at the receiving station can be similar in pitch, quality and relative intensity to those produced at the transmitting station are not stated, and do not seem to have been appreciated.
In Reis's lecture an apparatus was described which has given rise to much discussion as to priority in the invention of the telephone.
Reis caused a membrane to open and close an electric 2 See his Scientific Papers, P. 47.