The Electrical World, September 20, 1890, page 197:
Extension and Improvement of Telephone Service.
While in Detroit at the Telephone Convention last week Mr. E. J. Hall, Jr., vice-president of the American Telegraph and Telephone Company, made the following remarks upon this interesting subject: "As to the solution of submarine 'phoning, that has already been accomplished over a line of about 10 miles, and with very good results, so you see that the accomplishment of any given distance is only a matter of study and application. It is to be taken into consideration that at the present time a great difficulty is met with in submarine 'phoning, in consequence of the jarring of the waves, a sort of vibration being occasioned and kept up by the forces that cause commotion in the deep.
"I want to say a word about long distance telephoning on land. To-day no man can say what will be the limit of long distance telephoning on land. We not even know what the present limit is, because it has never been reached. Only the day before I came here I telephoned from Buffalo to Washington with perfect results, and could distinguish the voice of the party who was on the other end of the line with as much ease as though he were but a few miles distant. I know not how much further I might have heard the voice distinctly, provided I had the facilities at hand. As I before remarked, no man can tell what a day may bring forth in the way of telephone improvements. Ten years ago every telephone man declared, and honestly, that the wires could not be operated in a subterranean conduit; to-day ingenuity has contrived means to do this, and in large cities the companies prefer conduits in some places.
"But outside of the mere perfection of the working of the commercial telephone service, a very great improvement is being wrought in what I might call æsthetic uses of the instrument. You already know that the instrument is now used for the transmission of sermons to the houses of persons who for some reason are prevented from attending the services. This is done well enough, and by the attachment of a trumpet-like arrangement, the voice of the speaker is thrown out into the room, in very much the same way that the natural voice is dispersed. The change in the voice is unappreciable. But more wonderful still, is a scheme which we now have on foot, which looks to providing music on tap at certain times every day, especially at meal times. The scheme is to have a fine band perform the choicest music, gather up the sound waves, and distribute them to any number of subscribers. Thus a family, club or hotel may be regaled with the choicest airs from the favorite operas while enjoying the evening meal, and the effect will be as real and as enjoyable as though the performers were actually present in the apartment. We have perfected the distribution, and have over a hundred subscribers, or rather persons who have certified to their anxiety to be subscribers, and only await the perfecting of methods for overcoming certain modifications of tone and timbre that now occur. For instance, at present the telephone does not distinguish between notes of a harp and a piano; and it does not deliver the notes of reed, wood and brass instruments with the same faithfulness. Thus the cornets are apt to have an undue penetration and preponderance. When we have overcome this difficulty we shall be prepared to furnish music on tap."