• FA-108801 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
1900 - 1909
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

Wall-mounted telephone

Siemens & Halske, 1908



At the end of the 19th century, the business community discovers the advantages of the telephone. Telephone exchanges are quickly set up, initially with hundreds, but soon with thousands of connections.
In 1876, Alexander G. Bell files a patent application in Boston for a telephone system based on the following principle: inside the transmitter, the sound waves effect the oscillation of a small metal plate. The oscillation generates alternating current inside a coil, which is transmitted via a land-line circuit. The current pulse then causes a metal plate inside the receiving set to oscillate, making the words audible again.

After the first demonstrations here in Innsbruck and Vienna, a private Viennese company applies for a telephone concession. In 1881, the Department of Commerce grants a concession for the production and operation of telephone lines within a radius of 15 kilometres of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Telegraph engineer Otto Schaeffler sets up a telephone exchange for 500 telephone connections. A newspaper prints a list with the names of the first 154 subscribers – almost all industrialists, bankers and journalists.

Inv.Nr. 54561
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