SIGNALS – Museum of Information Explosion


Opening Fall 2024

Did You Know?

Did you know the receiver of a telephone converts fluctuating electric current into sound waves that reproduce human speech? Thanks to Alexander Grahm Bell, the telephone allowed us to connect in a way we never had before– human voice. In this exhibit, visitors will get a chance to discover the inner-workings of the telephone and how it’s progressed into what we know today. Experiment with a switchboard where multiple phones are connected, linking pairs of callers. Discover different telephone adaptations such as: wall phones, candlestick phones,


Voice Communication


Engineers and scientists were excited that data could be transmitted using electric dot and dash signals through a wire, but encoding and decoding the signal wasn’t easy and required specialized training. They reasoned that there just might be a way to encode and transmit the human voice.  Elisha Gray, Antonio Meucci, Alexander Graham Bell and others were working on creating a talking telegraph. Eventually in June 1875, Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be officially awarded a patent on the telephone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Human voices could now be transmitted across distances. Human-to-human communication via phone was now fast and personal.
  • A much greater amount of information could be communicated in real-time using voice.
  • Telephone service progressively expanded from telegraph offices in town all the way into family homes. Voice communication was commonplace.