History | Bell's Telephone at 60 | Back
This is a transcription of an article in the 10 Aug 1936 Simcoe Reformer

First Phone Message 
sent 60 years ago

Alexander Graham Bell talked from Paris
to his father in Brantford, 10 Aug 1876

It is just 60 years today since the world's first long-distance telephone message was sent over the wires of the Dominion Telegraph Company between Brantford and Paris, seven miles distant. It was sent 10 Aug 1876.
On the Paris end of the line was Alexander Graham Bell, who, two years before, while a resident of Brantford, conceived the idea of exciting a metal membrance by electrical impulse, to transit the vibrations of the human voice. On the other end of the one-way set were his father, Prof. Alexander Melville Bell, and an uncle, Prof. David C. Bell.
At his Brantford home, Tutela Heights, and at Boston, Bell had tested the device previously. Concert parties had been arranged to demonstrate that the new discovery would carry voices.
At Tutela Height he wrote the specifications of his invention and registered them at Washington. Later a United States Supreme Court decision established him as first inventor of the telephone.
In the Brantford-Paris experiment, Bell arranged that persons in Brantford were to sing, talk or recite into the transmitter while he listened at the receiver. He could reply only by telegraph.
He listened to the results for some time, then telegraphed to W. D. Griffin, of the telegraph company at Brantford, asking him to make certain changes in the arrangements of the coils. The new arrangement cleared articulation, and Bell thought he could distinguish the voice of his father.
He again telegraphed Brantford, and was told his father had been speaking into the receiver for some time. The test was satisfactory to Bell, and in his mind demonstrated the practicability of his invention.
A memorial to Bell stands at Brantford, unveiled by the Duke of Devonshire, when he was Governor-General of Canada. In the Bell homestead is a piece of the original wire used in his early experiments.  

Click to Enlarge

Copyright 2012 John Cardiff