Johann Philipp Reis installed an electric loudspeaker in his telephone in 1861; it was capable of reproducing clear tones, but also could reproduce muffled speech after a few revisions. Alexander Graham Bell patented his first electric loudspeaker (capable of reproducing intelligible speech) as part of his telephone in 1876, which was followed in 1877 by an improved version from Ernst Siemens. Nikola Tesla reportedly made a similar device in 1881, but he was not issued a patent. During this time, Thomas Edison was issued a British patent for a system using compressed air as an amplifying mechanism for his early cylinder phonographs, but he ultimately settled for the familiar metal horn driven by a membrane attached to the stylus.
In 1898, Horace Short patented a design for a loudspeaker driven by compressed air; he then sold the rights to Charles Parsons, who was issued several additional British patents before 1910. A few companies, including the Victor Talking Machine Company and Pathé, produced record players using compressed-air loudspeakers. However, these designs were significantly limited by their poor sound quality and their inability to reproduce sound at low volume. Variants of the system were used for public address applications, and more recently, other variations have been used to test space-equipment resistance to the very loud sound and vibration levels that the launching of rockets produces.
The modern design of moving-coil (also called dynamic) drivers was established by Oliver Lodge in 1898. The first practical application of moving-coil loudspeakers was established by Danish engineer Peter L. Jensen and Edwin Pridham, in Napa, California. Jensen was denied patents. Being unsuccessful in selling their product to telephone companies, in 1915 they changed strategy to public address, and named their product Magnavox. Jensen was, for years after the invention of the loudspeaker, a part owner of The Magnavox Company.
The moving-coil principle commonly used today in direct radiators was patented in 1924 by Chester W. Rice and Edward W. Kellogg. The key difference between previous attempts and the patent by Rice and Kellogg is the adjustment of mechanical parameters so that the fundamental resonance of the moving system is below the frequency where the cone's radiation impedance becomes uniform. [from Wikipedia]
And so the SPEAKER was born. The maker and breaker of gigs and parties all over the World.
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