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m There aie many claimants to the honor of having been the first to invent the telephone, and the fact is that few people know who was the actual inventor. It is generally attributed to Edison or Graham Bell, but it seems that it is anything but a modern idea. Travellers in the district of the Amazon tell us that the Catuquinaru Indians, since time immemorial, have been accustomed to correspond from one camp to another by means of a little device that recalls to one the small toy parchment telephones we used to play with in childhood's days. They bury a hollow wooden cylinder in the earth, filling it half full of sand, fragments of bones, and pulverised mica. The upper part remains empty, and is closed by a piece of leather, wood, or indiarubber. This instrument is called a " cambarysu." In the next camp, perhaps 1600 yards away, is another similar instrument. When one camp wishes to correspondend with another they strike violently with a mallet on the cambarysu, and the sound is transmitted by the earth to the cambarysu of the other camp. As soon as the inhabitants hear the signal they answer by a similar one, and then two individuals, putting their ears to the apparatus, can converse as easily as we do at an up-to-date telephone. They can hear just as .distinctly, and certainly have one advantage over us in that they are not continually being hustled away to make room for someone else. A traveller who has investigated this primitive telephone says" he is inclined to think that the nature of the soil has something to do with the wonderful transmission of sound. *

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Bibliographic details

Mataura Ensign, Mataura Ensign, Issue 520, 13 December 1898

Word Count

THE ORIGINAL OF THE TELEPHONE. Mataura Ensign, Issue 520, 13 December 1898