[78-L] Spot the Microdot

Martha MLK402 at verizon.net
Thu Mar 4 09:12:06 PST 2010

 Berliner's delusional attempts to get himself declared "Father of the 
Microphone", in the 1920s,  were just as sad as DeForest's later 
self-declaration of himself and Radio.  Berliner's papers show that he tried 
to prove that the air between loose contacts acted as a variable resistance, 
which he hoped would mean that carbon microphones relied on tiny air spaces 
to do the same.  He failed, of course.   He even imposed upon friends to 
campaign against Congress giving Edison a medal .

 http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Carbon_Transmitter   - I think this 
clearly explains Edison's contribution.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Biel" <mbiel at mbiel.com>
To: "78-L Mail List" <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: [78-L] Spot the Microdot

>A major error??  The ENTIRE ARTICLE is based on an error.  It does state
> that the courts eventually found that it was Edison who invented the
> carbon button mic.  The reason is that Berliner invented a different
> version of the loose coupled microphone.  The mic you see on the right
> is a reconstructed model of his first experiment. It is a child's drum
> with a pinhole in the center of the drumhead.  You see dangling down on
> a wire a metal ball.  There is a similar one on the back of the
> drumhead.  When the durmhead vibrates the balls bounce around and make
> and break perfect contact giving a variable resistance to a current.
> There is NO CARBON involved.  I once wrote that there was no
> relationship between this and the carbon button and got back a LONG
> letter from Oliver Berliner explaining the principle between the two
> balls being loosely coupled was the same as the carbon graduals being
> loosely coupled in the mic and changing resistance as they got moved
> around.  So there is a tie-in, but it was Edison who used carbon, not
> Berliner. Berliner's June 4, 1877 original patent application apparently
> made no mention of carbon, but an additional Sept 3, 1880  filing added
> an option to have a layer of carbon.  Edison had already been using 
> carbon.
> Is this the error you spotted?
> Mike Biel  mbiel at mbiel.com
> David Lewis wrote:
>> Here we go with WIRED weighing in on the history of the microphone. There 
>> is at least one major error in this article -- isn't that the case 
>> always? Nevertheless, it would be fun to hear about it from you guys; you 
>> always manage to find stuff that even I miss:
>> http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010/03/0304berliner-invents-microphone?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20wired/index%20%28Wired:%20Index%203%20%28Top%20Stories%202%29%29&utm_content=Google%20Feedfetcher

More information about the 78-L mailing list