TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Electric Powerlines to be Used For Broadband

Re: Electric Powerlines to be Used For Broadband

Neal McLain (
Sat, 08 Oct 2005 22:30:20 -0400

PAT wrote:

> it was interesting that he was able to 'communicate by voice' over
> those wires which served as our burglar alarm system ...

According to Herbert Casson, in his "The History of the Telephone,"
the first "exchange for telephone service" used burglar alarm wiring.

"When the first infant exchange for telephone service was born in
Boston, in 1877, it was the tiny offspring of a burglar-alarm business
operated by E. T. Holmes, a young man whose father had originated the
idea of protecting property by electric wires in 1858. Holmes was the
first practical man who dared to offer telephone service for sale. He
had obtained two telephones, number six and seven, the first five
having gone to the junk-heap; and he attached these to a wire in his
burglar-alarm office. For two weeks his business friends played with
telephones, like boys with a fascinating toy; then Holmes nailed up a
new shelf in his office, and on this shelf he placed six box-telephones
in a row. These could be switched into connection with the burglar-
alarm wires and any two of six wires could be joined by a wire
cord. Nothing had been simpler, but it was the arrival of a new idea
in the business world."

Herbert N. Casson. "The History of the Telephone." Chicago:
A. C. McClurg & Co., 1910, 151-52.

Neal McLain

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