Without question, Meucci’s most notable discovery in telephonics is physiophony. Meucci did not foresee this strange and wonderful discovery. Think of it. Hearing without the ears. Hearing through the nerves directly! The implications are just as enormous as the possible applications. Would it be possible for deaf persons to hear sound once again? Meucci knew it was possible.
His first series of new experiments would seek improvement of the electrophonic effect. To this end Meucci designed a preliminary set of paired electrodes. The appearance of these devices was strange to both the people of his time and those of own. Each device was made of small cork cylinders fitted with smooth copper discs. Designed as personalized transmitters, each person was to place their own transmitter directly in the mouth! The other electrode was to be hand-held.
Meucci verified the physiophonic phenomenon repeatedly. Upon experiencing the now-famed effect, visitors were awed. Furthermore, it was possible to greatly extend the line length to many hundreds of feet and yet “hear” sounds. The sounds were clearly heard “in the nerves” with a very small applied voltage. Sounds were being deliberately transmitted along charged wires for the first recorded time in modern history.
The auditory organs were not in any way involved. Meucci discovered that oral vibrations were varying the resistance of the circuit: oral muscles were vibrating the current supply. Spoken sounds were reproduced as a vibrating electric current in the charged line which can be sensed and “heard” in the nerveworks and muscular tissues.
With very great care for obvious injuries, it is possible to reproduce these remarkable results to satisfaction. The voltages must be infinitesimal. When properly conducted through the tissues, sounds are heard near the contact point the body. No doubt, the impulsed signal reproduces identical audio contractions in sensitive tissues. This is one source of the sounds internally “heard”. Nerves actually form the greater channel when impulses are arranged properly, directly transmitting their auditory contents without the inner ear.
Physiophony is Meucci’s greatest discovery, one which he should have pursued before also developing mere acoustic telephony. Twenty-five years later in America, an elated Elisha Gray would rediscover the physiophonic phenomenon. He would develop physiophony into a major scientific theme. Long after this time, these identical experimental demonstrations conspicuously appear in Bell’s letters; copying the identical experiments taken first from Meucci, then from Gray, and Reis.
During the early twentieth century, music halls for deaf persons were once found in certain metropolitan centers. These recital halls enabled nerve-deaf persons to hear music through handheld electrodes. Modifying the appliances in order to allow considerable freedom of movement, several such places allowed deaf people to dance. Holding the small copper rods, wired to a network on the ceiling, musical sounds and rhythms could be felt and heard directly. Physiophony, more recently termed “neurophony” holds the secret of a new technology. Physiophony, rediscovered of late, facilitates hearing in those afflicted with nerve-deafness.
Meucci discovered two distinct forms of vocal communication: physiophony and acoustic telephony. Meucci’s next experiments dealt with the development of a means for separating the physiophonic action from the human body entirely. He developed working systems to serve each of these modes, with primary emphasis on acoustic telephony. Replacing tissues of the mouth with a separate vibrating medium required extending the cork-fixed electrodes.
Meucci coiled thin and flexible copper wire so that it could freely vibrate in a heavy paper cone. Once more, Meucci varied the experiment. This time his own oral electrode would be enclosed in a heavy paper cone. Again each subject was asked to talk into the first cone-encased electrode as Meucci listened at the other terminal. Each time, speech was heard as vibrating air. This was his first acoustic transmitter-receiver.
Meucci wrote up all these findings in 1849…when Alexander Graham Bell was just 2 years old. Living in Havana at the time, Meucci conceived of the first telephonic system. He imagined that American industry would allow infinite production of his new technology. A telephonic system would revolutionize any nation which engineered its proliferation.
Freedom doors were not swung open in wide and unconditional welcome for Europeans during the latter 1800’s. Strict immigration laws forbade Europeans from even entering New York Harbor. It was more difficult, if not impossible, to find employment. New arrivals in America faced difficult, almost inhuman conditions. No support systems existed in the land of free-enterprise. No catch-nets for failed attempts in the land of the free.
True and unresisted freedom was reserved only for the upper class, who had already begun regulating and eliminating their possible competitors. Every means by which that prized upper position might be usurped was destroyed. Forgotten discoveries and inventions flowed like blood under the heavy arm of the robber baron.
The “New World” was not anxious to welcome these people. Discrimination against European immigrants went unbridled, unrepresented, and unchallenged. When American doors finally did open, there were no sureties for those who came to work and live in the New World. There was no promise, no meal, no housing, no job, no emergency support. To be in America meant to be on your own in America.
Prejudice against the “foreigners” was vicious during this time period. Immigrants who imagined a better life to the northlands would be sadly disappointed at first. Many of these newcomers preferred the temporary pain of atrocious city ghettoes simply because their eyes were on the future.
Europeans arriving in America came with trades and skills. Master craftsmen and technicians in their Old World guilds, these “unwelcomed” eventually won the hardened industrial establishment with their good works, many of them later forming the real core of American Industry. It is not accidental that Thomas Edison hired European craftsmen exclusively. In less than two generations the children of these brave individuals became leaders of their professions, giving the leukemic nation its periodically required red blood.
Established families despised the newcomers, who were regarded first with dread, then with resentment, and finally with a firm resolve. After ruthless campaigns by bureaucrats and moguls to eliminate the foreign presence in North America, wealthy puritanical antagonists sought the supposed surety of legislation to achieve elitist isolation. Neither cultivated nor creative, this ability to manipulate the tools of liberty for the sake of domination became a theme which continually stains their history. The unbridled and impassioned expansionism of these “foreign people” was so threatening to the impotent bureaucrats that legislation was installed for the expressed purpose of limiting their unstoppable movement. Sure that these were in fact the feared usurpers of a young and recently consolidated Republic, financiers impelled legislators to create a “middle class” economic stratum which has remained in force to this very day.
- LUMINOUS WORLD – Baron Karl von Reichenbach
- EARTH ENERGY & VOCAL RADIO: Nathan Stubblefield