Innocenzo Manzetti

Innocenzo Vincenzo Bartolomeo Luigi Carlo Manzetti[1] (Italian pronunciation: [innoˈtʃɛntso manˈdzetti]; 17 March 1826 – 15 March 1877) was an Italian inventor born in Aosta. Following his primary school studies he went to the Jesuit-run Saint Bénin Boarding School and then on to Turin where he was awarded a diploma in land surveying before returning to Aosta.

Innocenzo Manzetti



Automa Manzetti 1840
The flute-player (1840)

In 1840 he constructed a flute-playing automaton, in the shape of a man, life-size, seated on a chair. Hidden inside the chair were levers, connecting rods and compressed air tubes, which made the automaton's lips and fingers move on the flute according to a program recorded on a cylinder similar to those used in player pianos. The automaton was powered by clockwork and could perform 12 different arias. As part of the performance it would rise from the chair, bow its head, and roll its eyes.

Later he managed to get his automaton to play any piece performed by a musician on an organ by muting the organ's keys and connecting them to the automaton's fingers. A complex automaton was described in the same 1865 news article that described Manzetti's telephone.[2] He also built, as a toy for his daughter, a wooden flying parrot which would beat its wings then, reportedly, rise into the air and hover for two or three minutes before settling on a shelf.


In 1855 Manzetti invented a hydraulic machine to empty water from the wells of the Ollomont Mines, which were previously unworkable.

Steam car

In 1864 he built a steam-powered car, some 27 years before that built in Paris by Léon Serpollet. He also built the first Zamboni from that technology[3]

Speaking telegraph (telephone)

In 1843 Manzetti first mooted the idea of a "speaking telegraph", or telephone, but didn't pursue the idea at the time. In 1864, to give his automaton the power of speech, Manzetti is reported to have invented his speaking telegraph –some reports state that he didn't actually get it working until the following year. Although he did not patent his device it was reported in Paris,[2] and likely in the press around the world.

On 22 November 1865 a description of a telephone device attributed to Manzetti appeared in the Parisian newspaper, Le Petit Journal, extracted from a similar article in the Sardinia Courier ("Il Corriere di Sardegna").[2] The article very briefly wrote of an electrical telephone that could reproduce music and loudly spoken vowels with good quality, but could only produce softly spoken speech confusingly.[2] The article's author wrote:

"Manzetti transmits directly the word by means of the ordinary telegraphic wire, with an apparatus simpler than the one which is now used for dispatches. Now, two merchants will be able to discuss their business instantly from London to Calcutta, announce each other speculations, propose them, conclude them. Many experiments have been made already. They were successful enough to establish the practical possibility of this discovery. Music can already be perfectly transmitted; as for the words, the sonorous ones are heard distinctly."

Earlier, on 22 August 1865, La Feuille d'Aoste had reported:[4]

"It was also rumoured that English technicians to whom Manzetti illustrated his method for transmitting spoken words on the telegraph wire intended to apply the invention on several private telegraph lines in England."

Suggestions of the alleged intellectual property theft appear unsubstantiated, as there were no historical records of English technicians or companies implementing 'speaking telegraphs' in the U.K., or elsewhere, in that time period. The United Kingdom did not see its first telephone demonstrations until A.G. Bell demonstrated one of his early devices to Queen Victoria and others in 1877. Well documented sources record that Bell first conceptualized and invented electrical telephony in Canada in July 1874,[5] and did not actually build a working model until March 1876, thus mooting the suggestion of the invention's theft from Manzetti by Bell or others although contacts between Bell and Meucci prior to Bell's patent filings are confirmed.

Miscellaneous inventions

Other machines invented by Manzetti included:


Manzetti married Rosa Sofia Anzola in 1864. His first daughter, Maria Sofia, died in 1867 at the age of two. Manzetti himself died in Aosta on his 51st birthday, poor and largely unrecognized, one year after the death of his second and last daughter, Marina Fortunata.


  1. ^ Due to the fact that French was the only official and spoken language at that time, Manzetti's given names are often reported in French: Innocent Vincent Barthélemy Louis Charles (see link).
  2. ^ a b c d Quétànd, Èmile (translator). Curiosity of Science, Le Petit Journal, November 22, 1865, No.1026, p.3 (bottom). Extracted from: "Of The Transmission Of Sound And Speech By Telegraph", "Il Corriere di Sardegna" (The Sardinia Courier), date unknown. Retrieved October 3, 2010, from: National Library of France Gallica Digital Archives, this webpage, this document permalink ; this Pg.3 permalink ; this image download FTP.
  3. ^ Ice resurfacer
  4. ^ Innocenzo Manzetti: Curiosities Of Science, ChezBasilio website. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  5. ^ Bruce 1990, pg.122

External links

Antonio Meucci

Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci (Italian: [anˈtɔːnjo meˈuttʃi]; 13 April 1808 – 18 October 1889) was an Italian inventor and an associate of Giuseppe Garibaldi (a major political figure in the history of Italy). Meucci is best known for developing a voice-communication apparatus that several sources credit as the first telephone.Meucci set up a form of voice-communication link in his Staten Island, New York, home that connected the second-floor bedroom to his laboratory. He submitted a patent caveat for his telephonic device to the U.S. Patent Office in 1871, but there was no mention of electromagnetic transmission of vocal sound in his caveat. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the electromagnetic transmission of vocal sound by undulatory electric current. Despite the longstanding general crediting of Bell with the accomplishment, the Italian government later honored Meucci with the title "Inventore ufficiale del telefono" or "Official inventor of the telephone". The U.S. House of Representatives also honored Meucci in a resolution in 2002 for having had some role in the development of the telephone (although the U.S. Senate did not join the resolution and the interpretation of the resolution is disputed).

Aosta railway station

Aosta railway station (Italian: Stazione di Aosta; French: Gare d'Aoste) is the main station serving the city and comune of Aosta, in the autonomous region of Aosta Valley, northwestern Italy. Opened in 1886, it forms part of the Chivasso–Ivrea–Aosta railway, and is also a junction station for a branch line to nearby Pré-Saint-Didier, in the Valdigne, on the way towards Courmayeur.

The station is currently managed by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI). However, the commercial area of the passenger building is managed by Centostazioni. Train services to and from the station are operated by Trenitalia. Each of these companies is a subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), Italy's state-owned rail company.


An automaton (; plural: automata or automatons) is a self-operating machine, or a machine or control mechanism designed to automatically follow a predetermined sequence of operations, or respond to predetermined instructions. Some automata, such as bellstrikers in mechanical clocks, are designed to give the illusion to the casual observer that they are operating under their own power.

Communications receiver

A communications receiver is a type of radio receiver used as a component of a radio communication link. This is in contrast to a broadcast receiver which is used to receive radio broadcasts. A communication receiver receives parts of the radio spectrum not used for broadcasting, that includes amateur, military, aircraft, marine, and other bands. They are often used with a radio transmitter as part of a two way radio link for shortwave radio or amateur radio communication, although they are also used for shortwave listening.

Henry Sutton (inventor)

Henry Sutton (4 September 1855, Ballarat, Victoria – 28 July 1912) was an Australian designer, engineer, and inventor credited with contributions to early developments in electricity, aviation, wireless communication, photography and telephony.

History of steam road vehicles

The history of steam road vehicles comprises the development of vehicles powered by a steam engine for use on land and independent of rails, whether for conventional road use, such as the steam car and steam waggon, or for agricultural or heavy haulage work, such as the traction engine.

The first experimental vehicles were built in the 17th and 18th century, but it was not until after Richard Trevithick had developed the use of high-pressure steam, around 1800, that mobile steam engines became a practical proposition. The first half of the 19th century saw great progress in steam vehicle design, and by the 1850s it was viable to produce them on a commercial basis. This progress was dampened by legislation which limited or prohibited the use of steam powered vehicles on roads. Nevertheless, the 1880s to the 1920s saw continuing improvements in vehicle technology and manufacturing techniques, and steam road vehicles were developed for many applications. In the 20th century, the rapid development of internal combustion engine technology led to the demise of the steam engine as a source of propulsion of vehicles on a commercial basis, with relatively few remaining in use beyond the Second World War. Many of these vehicles were acquired by enthusiasts for preservation, and numerous examples are still in existence. In the 1960s the air pollution problems in California gave rise to a brief period of interest in developing and studying steam powered vehicles as a possible means of reducing the pollution. Apart from interest by steam enthusiasts, the occasional replica vehicle, and experimental technology no steam vehicles are in production at present.

History of the telephone

This history of the telephone chronicles the development of the electrical telephone, and includes a brief review of its predecessors.

Index of telephone-related articles

These are some of the links to articles that are telephone related.

See Category:Telephony for many more links

Invention of the telephone

The invention of the telephone was the culmination of work done by many individuals, and led to an array of lawsuits relating to the patent claims of several individuals and numerous companies. The first telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci, but Alexander Graham Bell is credited with the development of the first practical telephone.

MCI Communications

MCI Communications Corp. was an American telecommunications company that was instrumental in legal and regulatory changes that led to the breakup of the AT&T monopoly of American telephony and ushered in the competitive long-distance telephone industry. It was headquartered in Washington, D.C.Founded in 1963, it grew to be the second-largest long-distance provider in the U.S. It was purchased by WorldCom in 1998 and became MCI WorldCom, with the name afterwards being shortened to WorldCom in 2000. WorldCom's financial scandals and bankruptcy led that company to change its name in 2003 to MCI Inc.


In telecommunications and computer networks, multiplexing (sometimes contracted to muxing) is a method by which multiple analog or digital signals are combined into one signal over a shared medium. The aim is to share a scarce resource. For example, in telecommunications, several telephone calls may be carried using one wire. Multiplexing originated in telegraphy in the 1870s, and is now widely applied in communications. In telephony, George Owen Squier is credited with the development of telephone carrier multiplexing in 1910.

The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel such as a cable. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the communication channel into several logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred. A reverse process, known as demultiplexing, extracts the original channels on the receiver end.

A device that performs the multiplexing is called a multiplexer (MUX), and a device that performs the reverse process is called a demultiplexer (DEMUX or DMX).

Inverse multiplexing (IMUX) has the opposite aim as multiplexing, namely to break one data stream into several streams, transfer them simultaneously over several communication channels, and recreate the original data stream.

In computing, I/O multiplexing can also be used to refer to the concept of processing multiple input/output events from a single event loop, with system calls like poll and select (Unix).

NPL network

The NPL Network or NPL Data Communications Network was a local area computer network operated by a team from the National Physical Laboratory in England that pioneered the concept of packet switching. Following a pilot experiment during 1967, elements of the first version of the network, Mark I, became operational during 1969 then fully operational in 1970, and the Mark II version operated from 1973 until 1986. The NPL network, followed by the wide area ARPANET in the United States, were the first two computer networks that implemented packet switching, and were interconnected in the early 1970s. The NPL network was designed and directed by Donald Davies.

Outline of telecommunication

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to telecommunication:

Telecommunication – the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication. In modern times, this process almost always involves the use of electromagnetic waves by transmitters and receivers, but in earlier years it also involved the use of drums and visual signals such as smoke, fire, beacons, semaphore lines and other optical communications.

Rotary dial

A rotary dial is a component of a telephone or a telephone switchboard that implements a signaling technology in telecommunications known as pulse dialing. It is used when initiating a telephone call to transmit the destination telephone number to a telephone exchange.

On the rotary phone dial, the digits are arranged in a circular layout so that a finger wheel may be rotated with one finger from the position of each digit to a fixed stop position, implemented by the finger stop, which is a mechanical barrier to prevent further rotation.

When released at the finger stop, the wheel returns to its home position by spring action at a speed regulated by a governor device. During this return rotation, the dial interrupts the direct electrical current of the telephone line (local loop) a specific number of times for each digit and thereby generates electrical pulses which the telephone exchange decodes into each dialed digit. Each of the ten digits is encoded in sequences of up to ten pulses so the method is sometimes called decadic dialling.

The first patent for a rotary dial was granted to Almon Brown Strowger (November 29, 1892) as U.S. Patent 486,909, but the commonly known form with holes in the finger wheel was not introduced until ca. 1904. While used in telephone systems of the independent telephone companies, rotary dial service in the Bell System in the United States was not common until the introduction of the Western Electric model 50AL in 1919.From the 1980s onward, the rotary dial was gradually supplanted by dual-tone multi-frequency push-button dialing, first introduced to the public at the 1962 World's Fair under the trade name "Touch-Tone". Touch-tone technology primarily used a keypad in form of a rectangular array of push-buttons for dialing.

Steam car

A steam car is a car (automobile) propelled by a steam engine. A steam engine is an external combustion engine (ECE) in which the fuel is combusted outside of the engine, unlike an internal combustion engine (ICE) in which fuel is combusted inside the engine. ECEs have a lower thermal efficiency, but carbon monoxide production is more readily regulated.

The first steam-powered vehicle was supposedly built in 1672 by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish Jesuit in China. The vehicle was a toy for the Chinese Emperor. While not intended to carry passengers, and therefore not exactly a "car", Verbiest's device is likely to be the first ever engine-powered vehicle. The first experimental steam-powered cars were built in the late 18th and 19th centuries, not until after Richard Trevithick had developed the use of high-pressure steam around 1800, that mobile steam engines became a practical proposition. By the 1850s it was viable to produce them commercially: steam road vehicles were used for many applications.

Development was hampered by adverse legislation from the 1830s and then the rapid development of internal combustion engine technology in the 1900s, leading to their commercial demise. Relatively few steam-powered vehicles remained in use after the Second World War. Many of these vehicles were acquired by enthusiasts for preservation.

The search for renewable energy sources has led to an occasional resurgence of interest in using steam power for road vehicles.


The telex network was a public switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network, for the purposes of sending text-based messages. Telex was a major method of sending written messages electronically between businesses in the post-World War II period. Its usage went into decline as the fax machine grew in popularity in the 1980s.

The "telex" term refers to the network, not the teleprinters; point-to-point teleprinter systems had been in use long before telex exchanges were built in the 1930s. Teleprinters evolved from telegraph systems, and, like the telegraph, they used binary signals, which means that symbols were represented by the presence or absence of a pre-defined level of electric current. This is significantly different from the analog telephone system, which used varying voltages to represent sound. For this reason, telex exchanges were entirely separate from the telephone system, with their own signalling standards, exchanges and system of "telex numbers" (the counterpart of telephone numbers).

Telex provided the first common medium for international record communications using standard signalling techniques and operating criteria as specified by the International Telecommunication Union. Customers on any telex exchange could deliver messages to any other, around the world. To lower line usage, telex messages were normally first encoded onto paper tape and then read into the line as quickly as possible. The system normally delivered information at 50 baud or approximately 66 words per minute, encoded using the International Telegraph Alphabet No. 2. In the last days of the telex networks, end-user equipment was often replaced by modems and phone lines, reducing the telex network to what was effectively a directory service running on the phone network.

Timeline of the telephone

This timeline of the telephone covers landline, radio, and cellular telephony technologies and provides many important dates in the history of the telephone.

Voice of Russia

The Voice of Russia (Russian: Голос России, tr. Golos Rossii), commonly abbreviated VOR, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik. Its interval signal was a chime version of 'Majestic' chorus from the Great Gate of Kiev portion of Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky.

Network topology
and switching

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