Before then, the term microphone was used to describe an acoustical device (like an ear trumpet or stethoscope) that helped amplify sounds.
One of those inventors was German physicist Johann Philipp Reis (1834-1874), who designed a sound transmitter consisting of a metallic strip resting on a membrane with a metal point contact that would complete the electrical circuit when sound waves moved the membrane (a.k.a., diaphragm).
As children, we were told the story of Bell accidentally spilling some acid and calling for his assistant, saying “Watson, come here, I need you.” Watson heard Bell’s voice over the system, and it’s noted as the first “phone call.” Other inventors who contributed significantly to early microphone technology include Emile Berliner, David Edward Hughes and Thomas Edison.
As a self-confessed “mic geek,” I find the history of these devices fascinating, and thought it would be interesting to share some of the highlights of mic development.
The timestamp is only as accurate as the clock in the camera, and it may be completely wrong.
If the file has been modified from its original state, some details such as the timestamp may not fully reflect those of the original file.
Loaned by Frank Spain This file contains additional information such as Exif metadata which may have been added by the digital camera, scanner, or software program used to create or digitize it.
Microphones as we know them date back to about the mid-1800s, when many different inventors were trying to electronically transmit sounds from one place to another.
By 1932, the company was producing microphones to fill a rapidly growing market, and debuted the model 33N, a 2-button carbon microphone model that was the first lightweight, high-performance product in a field largely dominated by bulky units.
Shure went on to release the iconic model 55 in 1939, the first single-element unidirectional mic.
The award, in part, read “To Electro-Voice for a highly directional dynamic line microphone...
capable of picking up sound in situations where a microphone cannot be placed close to the sound source and where unwanted sounds are to be discriminated against." Loaned by Frank Spain A dynamic microphone ...
According to the company’s instructions for use, the 618A sported a “thin duralumin diaphragm of low mechanical stiffness” and a magnet made from “high-grade cobalt steel.” The document goes on to state that “a number of air chambers and slot openings connecting them have been associated with the diaphragm in order to obtain substantially uniform response over a frequency range from 35 to 9,500 cycles per second.