One of the interesting developments of telephone work is that which is now steadily going on--the transmission of orchestral music over long distances. Our readers will recall the large measure of success attained during the exhibition of the Women's Exchange at the Lenox Lyceum last winter, when, besides the transmission of music from the local theaters, Boston contributed to the entertainment by telephone, in the shape of music and recitations.
This work has been carried on by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, known as the "Long Distance Company," under the direct supervision of their able engineer and electrician, Mr. F. E. Pickernell, and the results obtained with but a comparatively short experience in so difficult a field are exceedingly gratifying and give promise of still greater success in the near future.
In a lecture recently delivered in the Town Hall at Newton, Mass., Mr. Pickernell described the methods employed in the transmission of music by telephone. His remarks were very forcibly illustrated by the reception in the lecture hall of music transmitted over the long distance lines from the telephone building, at No. 18 Cortlandt Street, New York, and our engraving, made from a photograph taken at the time, shows the arrangement of the performers.
In transmitting music of this kind, it has been found desirable to have a separate transmitter for every instrument, and further, that, where a considerable number of instruments are used, it is necessary to so arrange the induction coils that their joint resistance will bear a fixed ratio to the resistance of the receiving instruments and line, all the induction coils being connected by the same line in multiple series. For this class of work the storage battery is admirably adapted for operating the transmitters, and by using cells of this type, it is possible to run 20 long distance transmitters from the same battery without drawing a current sufficiently heavy to injure the storage battery.
By using separate transmitters for each instrument, due prominence may be given to each of the instruments at the receiving end. If one transmitter is arranged to transmit music emanating from all instruments, it has been found that it must be so adjusted that the average result will be fair. Under these conditions, the lighter violin parts are heard but very indistinctly, while the heavier parts produce very great noise, but the purity of the sound is affected. This, of course, gives very unsatisfactory results.
At the receiving station, when it is desired to fill halls of considerable size, as many as six loud-speaking receivers are used. These are connected in multiple series, so that their joint resistance bears a definite ratio to the resistance of the transmitters. These are distributed about the hall, being usually attached to the chandeliers. On the occasion above referred to, the music transmitted from New York over a distance of 250 miles was listened to by over 1,000 persons.
When we add that similar entertainments have been given with music transmitted over a distance of no less than 460 miles it will be clear that if the same progress is made in the future as that characterized by the work of the last few months, the telephone will occupy an important position in our future entertainment, both public and private.--Electrical Engineer.