Today in History: Bell’s Photophone

Drawing by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter, April 1880

Today in History–June 3–the Library of Congress features the invention of the photophone on this date in 1880 by Alexander Graham Bell. Although more famously known for the telephone, the photophone transmitted sound on a beam of light. This technology with the precursor to fiber optics which today transmits voice and data communications at the speed of light. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more stories and primary sources related to the photophone and Alexander Graham Bell.

Alexander Graham Bell Invented the Photophone from America’s Library

Alexander Graham Bell photophone correspondence

Photophone newspaper clippings August 31, 1880 to September 1, 1880

More photophone historical newspaper coverage

Alexander Graham Bell stories & primary source collections