Origins is a monthly column, where we will be talking about the history of various innovative technologies that we take for granted today.
In 1897, a certain Thaddeus Cahill made a device called the Telharmonium – a device that took up a massive room with 200 tons of machinery and wires. It served as a centre for broadcasting music via telephone wires. Initially called the Dynamophone, it worked as an on-demand music broadcasting service where subscribers had to call and request for the Telharmonium line, following which they would be linked to the station. The Telharmonium would play electrically generated tunes over the line, which would be amplified at the user’s end with a paper funnel.