D.E.V.I.C.E. is an encyclopedia of terms used by manufacturers of test and measurement equipment. T&M Atlantic created this service to better explain the functionality of instruments it offers, and to highlight the latest developments in the world of measurement equipment. We are using such tools as animation to bring words and pictures to life and to create not just an understanding but also an appreciation for technology that goes into the design of every instrument.
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On March 4, 1877, American inventor Emile Berliner patented a voice transmitter containing charcoal powder placed between two metal plates. That was what we call now “microphone”.
It is worth noting that one year earlier The Bell Telephone Company had developed its own microphone for the already existing technological miracle – the telephone. That device was called a liquid (or capacitor) transmitter and made some noise. Often the transmitted speech was simply incomprehensible.
Berliner was able to refine and amplify the transmitted sounds and thus invented a kind of telephone transmitter with a loose contact which he called a microphone.