I don't know about you,
but I really miss the hard-wired POTS (Plain Ordinary Telephone System) days
of remote communications. Unless the conversation was with an overseas telco
system, there was never a noticeable delay where both parties were constantly
either 'stepping' on each other's words or having to consciously wait before
speaking to make sure the other guy has finished. Whether it be cellphone-to-cellphone
or cellphone-to-VoIP, nearly every conversation is annoying. Sometimes when
one party is on the POTS line with either a cell or Internet connection it can
go well, but if you want a hassle-free conversation (assuming the person you're
talking to is not a PiTA), you need a hard-wired connection on both ends. People
loved to hate Bell Telephone back in the day, but I'll take it over what we
suffer through now.
Bell Telephone Laboratories Advertisement
Clocks with tiny crystal hearts that
beat 100,000 times a second
Crystal hearts beat time in Bell Telephone Laboratories, and serve as standards
in its electronics research. Four crystal clocks, without pendulums or escapements,
throb their successive cycles without varying by as much as a second a year.
Precise time measurements may seem a far cry from Bell System telephone research,
but time is a measure of frequency, and frequency is the foundation of modern
communication, whether by land lines, cable, or radio.
These clocks are electronic devices developed by Bell Laboratories, and refined
over years of research. Their energy is supplied through vacuum tubes, but the
accurate timing, the controlling heart of the clock, is provided by a quartz
crystal plate about the size of a postage stamp.
These crystal plates vibrate 100,000 times a second, but their contraction
and expansion is submicroscopically small - less than a hundred-thousandth of
an inch. They are in sealed boxes, to avoid any variation in atmospheric pressure,
and their temperatures are controlled to a limit as small as a hundredth of
Bell Laboratories was one of the first to explore the possibilities of quartz
in electrical communication, and its researches over many years enabled it to
meet the need for precise crystals when war came. The same character of research
is helping to bring ever better and more economical telephone service to the
Bell Telephone Laboratories Exploring and inventing, devising and perfecting
for continued improvements and economies in telephone service.
Posted July 28, 2020(original 3/27/2015)