TELEPHONE TALKING ACROSS THE CHANNEL.|1878-01-12|The Cardigan Observer and General Advertiser for the Counties of Cardigan Carmarthen and Pembroke - Welsh Newspapers Online
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TELEPHONE TALKING ACROSS THE CHANNEL. On Saturday last some experiments were carried out, en the telegraph cable connecting St. Margaret's Bay, near Dover, and the village of Sandgatte, on the French coast. The Mayor of Dover, and several other gentlemen connected with the town, drove over to the bay and assembled in the little telegraph hut erected on the beach within a few yards of the shaft of the borings connected with the proposed Channel tunnel — a gross and material way of connecting the two countries compared with the delicate com- munication we were about to establish. Mr. Bor- deaux, the superintendent of the Submarine Telegraph Company, at once established a communication with the opposite coast, and at his request, conveyed by an ordinary pocket telegraph instrument, the tele- phones were attached to the French end of the cable, and ic a few minutes we were conversing across 221 miles of wire at tbe bottom of the sea The portable instruments, made in polished mahogany, and in shape like a ch ttnpsgno glass without a foot, were used. By placing one to the ear, and speaking into the cup of the other, a continuous conversation was kept up without difficulty. Although the wires w^re being used on the ordinary business of the station, and the clicking* of the Morse instrumenis being worked at Dover and Calais we-e going on all the time, yet the voices could be plainly heard and their tones dis- tinguished. The songs sung in that little wild hut on t le French coast were reproduced note for note and word for word, piano and foHe, like the distant mur- mur of a sheTl-asmalI far-off voice—in that on which stood. h Star ef the Evening" and Auld Lang Syne" came rolling across that rough and stormy Channel, down which ships were staggering with shortened sails, and through that tumbling surf, with- out the loss of a tone or a note. Whistling was tried with equal success, and the tunes were equally dis- tinguishable with the songs. It was suggested that the popping of a cork might be made out, and our French friends were asked to listen attentively to what would happen. Unfortunately no bottles were at hand, but a rev. gentleman equal to the occasion put his finger into his cheek and admirably imitated the drawing of a cork. You have just drawn a cork," came the voice from the other side, with just a shade of melancholy in its tone. A hearty laugh was raised by this mistake. After thanking our friends for their songs and other efforts to amuse an audience so far off, Mr. Bordeaux gave a short lecture on the con- struction of the instrument, and the party separated much impressed with the success of the experiments and of the important part it is likely to play in the communications of the future. At present it is clearly useless for military purposes, as the most perfect stillness is necessary not to drown the little voice.

THE GUILDHALL LIBRARY.

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