Produced by Audio Productions, INC (NY, NY), “Your Voice and the Telephone” is essentially an infomercial on the telephone made in the 1950s. The film begins with general instructions for watching atop a Bell System seal (adjust the sound volume). After varying shots of ordinary, 1960’s telephones, the film begins explaining a brief evolution of the telephone, ultimately pointing out that voices are made up of sound waves, waves of pressure traveling through the air, which make telephones work. While sound waves cannot be seen, they occur when the very small particles in the air next to a vibrating string are pushed inward and outward. At 2:39 a visual appears of a string vibrating a lot, producing a loud sound. Then the opposite model is shown, with a little vibration and a soft sound. A diagram of a human with vocal cords shows the same string vibrating in the throat creating the sounds of one’s voice. The sound waves that make up your voice, according the the commentator, are as unique as your finger print. The sound waves move into a telephone, and first enter the transmitter, where they strike against a metal plate, called a diaphragm. This sends a wave of pressure through the grains behind the transmitter. From here, your voice is transformed from sound to electricity through the phone.
At 4:50, the shot moves along the wire of the phone, where your voice is directed to any one of millions of telephone lines. It may travel by cable, or even by microwave radio for long distances. The electricity carries your voice, almost instantaneously, to the receiver on the other end of the line. Inside the receiver is another diaphragm which is moved back and forth by the action of two magnets, which creates sound waves in the air—new sound waves, which have the same pattern as the ones said into your telephone. Your voice has been changed from sound to electricity, and back to sound again in the blink of an eye.
At 6:17, a deconstructed phone is shown while the commentator explains that in order to make this all happen, the telephone has to be very complex. In the transmitter and receiver unit alone, there are 84 tiny parts, in fact. In the base of the telephone, there are 408 parts. All of these parts are put together with great precision so that the naturalness of your voice can come through. After showing a series of white and clear telephones, both off the hook and otherwise, the commentator pridefully informs that if your voice is pleasant and courteous, it will sound pleasant and courteous on the other end. Like any good infomercial, the speaker ends by reminding us why we, as the viewer, should want a telephone: “For the fact that the telephone carries your personality, has a lot to do with the pleasure and fun of using the telephone.”
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