Science: Death of Watson

In March 1876, two young scientists worked hard, fast and eagerly in their shop in a Boston boardinghouse attic. One was Thomas Augustus Watson. The other was Alexander Graham Bell. Following Bell's instructions Watson had constructed the first crude telephone, but the results were disappointing. Sounds came over the wire, but no intelligible words.

A new transmitter was made in which a diaphragm of goldbeater's skin was attached to a wire which in turn was dipped in dilute sulphuric acid. With no idea whether the transmitter was good or bad, the two...

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