The original scan for this article is located at: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn94052989/1893-09-03/ed-1/seq-8/.
San Francisco Call, September 3, 1893, page 8:
A Syndicate Has Made Success of It in Paris.
When the idea of the "theaterphone" was first mooted in Paris, its feasibility was much questioned; but a Parisian syndicate took up the project with such energy that the city has now effective service which supplies entertainment to a list of subscribers numbering over 1500, and the installation is connected with all the principal theaters. London now seeks to emulate Paris in this successful development, and an "electrophone" company has been organized with a very ambitious programme. The electrophone is practically the telephone modified in such a manner as to serve the purpose
of transmitting sound from public buildings, such as concert halls, theaters, churches and lecture-rooms, to certain centers for redistribution, thence to receiving points by conductors radiating from these centers of exchanges. Thus the public, by the payment of a small fee, can hear a portion of the entertainment proceeding at one or the other of the London theaters. Specially constructed transmitters are placed on the stage of the theater, just in front of the footlights, whence the sound is conveyed over the wires of the local telephone company to the electrophone exchanges for redistribution to private subscribers and to a system of automatic boxes fitted up in clubs, restaurants, railway stations, hotels and similar places of public resort.
So that if a man is indisposed to go out in search of amusement he can turn on the electrophone service in his club or hotel or even in his private house and have immediately at his command practically the whole range of entertainment going on in the city. In addition to connection with theaters and other places of amusement, it is proposed to connect the system with churches and the law courts. It is even hoped that it will be possible to obtain the same privilege in the House of Commons, and several members of Parliament are said to be strongly in favor of the idea. A commendable feature of the service will be its connection with the principal London hospitals free of charge, so that it will be a source of pleasure and comfort to thousands of sufferers who, during each year, are treated in those admirable institutions. In addition to the sound service, the electrophone company propose to attach an intelligence bureau to their central exchange for the convenience of their subscribers, where commissions of any kind will be carried out for a small fee. The bureau will be supplied with a stenographer and typewriter and every requisite for saving time and trouble. A subscriber will be able to have commissions attended to in any part of the city by simply telephoning his wishes to the central exchange. It is ardently to be hoped that this ideal system will be successful in its entirety.