This is such a great question to spark a fun conversation with your curious little one. Take a moment to ask them how they think phones work. Enjoy listening to them "Wonder Out Loud." Here are a few facts to help you respond.
The first telephones were invented in the mid-1800’s. The most famous early telephone was the one invented by Alexander Graham Bell and he was the first to patent it. His telephone had a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter was made of a cylinder, a needle, and a battery. All three of these parts were connected by a wire. Alexander Graham Bell would talk into the cylinder and the sound of his voice made the needle vibrate. The vibrations turned into an electrical current that traveled along the wire to the receiver, so anyone listening at the receiver could hear the person talking through the transmitter.
Landline phones work in a similar way to Alexander Graham Bell’s early telephone because they have wires just like his. Cell phones are different because they do not have wires. Instead, the vibrations of your voice are turned into electric signals by a microchip in the cell phone. The current travels through the air to a cell tower and then to the person you are calling. The process is very similar to the original telephones, but the currents can travel through the air instead of relying on wires.
Thanks for learning with us!