Recently we learned about the invention of the telephone and I mentioned to my students that Alexander Graham Bell would be very surprised at how far his invention has come. They were shocked to learned about how the first phone looked many of them thought it was the "Big chunky one with an antenna" (aka the first Satellite/cell phones) or "the one with the wheel" (rotary phones) , so I had to bring in the antique phone that used to reside in my great grandparents' farmhouse in Canada. It weighs about 40 lbs (that's without the batteries!) My phone was a slightly newer version of this one, it had a regular handset.
The children were curious as to how it worked. Instead of telling them right away I made them guess. Here are some of the best responses. (I used the phone pictured above, as it was older than mine, for their directions.)
"I believe that you spin the handle and pick up the piece to listen with. On the other end someone will ask you who you want to call. Then they hook you up with that person. Then you can be talking with the person you wish to call. When you talk you have to talk through the thing in the middle of it. You still need to keep the phone handle spinning while you talk to the person. That is how you work an 1877 phone, or at least how I think you use it." ~Emily L.
"How to use the telephones push down on the pumpymijiger (in the middle of the phone) as many time for the phone number you need. After each number take a break so the phone knows when to put a spec in the number. When you are done with phone number you twist the crank and it would call the person that you want to call, but you have to have a phone number in first!" ~Kaylee
"Here's how to work one of these...
1. Plug it into the wall.
2. The little thing on the side is twisted around and the bells ring and it makes energy.
3. The phone is on the left side but the phone is like a smoke garden. Speak on the top and then put it to the ear to hear what they are saying.
4. The very last part is the board that sticks out , it is to write something on like an address or something else. You can put a pencil & paper there.
5. I forgot to say, the thing sticking out of the center is where you speak.
You can open it too!"