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Encyclopedia > Almon Strowger

Almon Brown Strowger (1839May 26, 1902) gave his name to the electromechanical telephone exchange technology that his invention and patent inspired. Image File history File links Almon_Strowger. ... 1839 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... May 26 is the 146th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (140th in leap years). ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange (US: telephone switch) is a piece of equipment that connects phone calls. ... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a person for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which is new, inventive, and...

Contents


Early years

He was born in Penfield, near Rochester, New York. Little information is available about his early life, but it is known that he was the grandson of the second settler and first miller in Penfield. In her history of the Town of Penfield, Katherine Thompson reports that if his mother gave her children a task, he and his brothers would spend most of their time figuring out a machine that would do the task for them. He taught school in Penfield for a time, and served in the 8th New York Volunteer Cavalry during the American Civil War. His grave is marked with the traditional white headstone with an inscription that reads: Penfield is a town located in Monroe County, New York. ... There is also a Rochester in Ulster County, New York; for that town see Rochester, Ulster County, New York. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Abraham Lincoln Jefferson Davis Strength 1,556,678 (of whom many signed multiple enlistment contracts) 1,064,200 Casualties KIA: 110,100 Total dead: 359,500 Wounded: 275,200 KIA: 74,500 Total dead: 198,500 Wounded: 137,000+  {{{notes... Headstones in the Japanese Cemetry in Broome, Western Australia A cemetery in rural Spain A typical late 20th century headstone in the United States A headstone, tombstone or gravestone is a marker, normally carved from stone, placed over or next to the site of a burial. ...

Lieut. A.B. Strowger, Co. A, 8 NY Cav.

It is believed that he fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia. Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders John Pope Robert E. Lee Thomas J. Jackson Strength 63,000 54,000 Casualties 1,747 killed, 8,452 wounded, 4,263 captured/missing 1,553 killed, 7,812 wounded, 109 captured/missing The Second Battle of Bull Run, known... Manassas is an independent city located in the state of Virginia. ...


After the Civil War, it appears he first became a country school teacher before he became an undertaker. He is variously attributed as living in El Dorado, Kansas or Topeka, Kansas, and finally Kansas City, Missouri. It is not clear where his idea of an automatic telephone exchange was originally conceived, but his patent application identifies him as being a resident of Kansas City, Missouri on March 10, 1891. This article is about the vocation of a mortician and the death metal band; for the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar, see The Undertaker. ... El Dorado is the largest city and county seat of Butler County, Kansas. ... Motto: Nickname: Map Political Statistics Founded December 5, 1854 Incorporated February 14, 1857 County Shawnee County Borough {{{borough}}} Parrish {{{parrish}}} Mayor Bill Bunten Geographic Statistics Area  - Total  - Water 147. ... Nickname: City of Fountains or Heart of the Nation Motto: Official website: http://www. ... March 10 is the 69th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (70th in Leap years). ... 1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


He is commonly identified as a Kansas City undertaker, (or occasionally as either a funeral parlor director or a mortician), who invented the automatic telephone exchange and has been described as the father of the automatic telephone exchange. Strowger himself would more likely have characterised his invention as the "girl-less, cuss-less" telephone system.


He was apparently motivated to invent an automatic telephone exchange after having difficulties with the local telephone operators. He was convinced that the local manual telephone exchange operators were sending calls to his competitor rather than his business. He also suspected that the telephone operators were influencing the choice of undertaker when his business was requested. The origin of this suspicion reportedly arose from an incident in Topeka when a friend died and the family contacted a rival undertaker. Other stories claim that the wife or, possibly, the cousin of a rival was a telephone operator and Strowger suspected that the operators were telling callers that his line was busy or connecting his callers to the competition. The full story is now clouded by the passage of time, though historians report that those who knew him have described him as "eccentric, irascible and even mad".


Later years

Convinced that subscribers should choose who was called, rather than the operator, he first conceived his invention in 1888, and patented the automatic telephone exchange in 1891. It is reported that he initially constructed a model of his invention from a round collar box and some straight pins. Subscriber: In a public switched telecommunications network such as the common telephone system, the ultimate user, customer, of a communications service. ... 1888 is a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... central office = Exchange building in the U.S. telephone exchange = Exchange building in the UK, and is also the UK name for a telephone switch, and also has a technical meaning in U.S. telecoms telephone switch is the U.S. term, but is in increasing use in technical UK... 1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


So what was so revolutionary about his invention that so many others had failed to devise previously? The patent consists of:

  1. A device for use by customer - this creates trains of on-off current pulses corresponding to the digits 0-9 (this evolved into the rotary dial telephone)
  2. A 2 motion stepping switch at telephone exchange. Rotating arm steps over, in a semi-circular fashion, 10 possible contact points. The stepping motion was controlled by the current pulses coming from the originating customer's dialing device.
  3. Cascading enabled connection among more than 10 customers. Switching devices can also be positioned in the vertical direction as well as horizontal direction, also increasing the switching capacity.
  • The addition of a line finder selector to reduce the number of switches needed, and circuits to detect busy connections were made in later designs. But these were minor enhancements to the fundamental concept.

It is the fundamental modularity of the system combined with its step-by-step (hence the alternative name) selection process and an almost unlimited potential for expansion that gives the Strowger system its technical advantage: previous systems had all been designed for a fixed number of subscribers to be switched directly to each other in a mesh arrangement. This became orders of magnitude more complex as each new customer was added, as each new customer needed a switch to connect to every other customer. In modern terminology, the previous systems were simply not scalable. In signal processing, the term pulse has the following meanings: A rapid, transient change in the amplitude of a signal from a baseline value to a higher or lower value, followed by a rapid return to the baseline value. ... The rotary dial is a device mounted on or in a telephone or switchboard that is designed to send interrupted electrical pulses, known as pulse dialing, corresponding to the number dialled. ... In electrical controls, a stepping switch (also called a uniselector; see Strowger switch, below) is an electromechanical device used, most prominently, in early automatic telephone exchanges to route calls. ... In telecommunications and software engineering, scalability indicates the capability of a system to increase total througput under an increased load when resources (typically hardware) are added. ...


While he may have come up with the idea, he was not alone in his endeavours and sought the assistance of his nephew William and others with a knowledge of electricity and money to realise his concepts. With this help the Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange Company was formed and it installed and opened the first commercial exchange in (his then home town of) La Porte, Indiana on November 3, 1892, with about 75 subscribers and capacity for 99. Automatic Electric Company was a telephone equipment supplier for independent phone companies similar in many ways to the Bell Systems Western Electric. ... LaPorte is a city located in LaPorte County, Indiana. ... November 3 is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 58 days remaining. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


The company's engineers continued development of Strowger's designs and submitted several patents in the names of its employees. It also underwent several name changes. Strowger himself seems to have not taken part in this further development. He subsequently moved to St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida and appears to have returned to being an undertaker, as H.P. Bussey Funeral Home records report an unidentified body being moved "for Mr. Strowger" in December 1899. The same funeral home subsequently buried Strowger himself. Strowger was a man of some wealth at his death and was reported as owning at least a city block of property. 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


Death and afterwards

He died, aged 62, of an aneurism after suffering from anemia, at St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida and was buried in Greenwood Cemeterythe next day. An aneurysm (or aneurism) (from Gr. ... This article discusses the medical condition. ... Aerial photograph of St. ... Pinellas County is a county located in the state of Florida. ...


He was survived by his widow Susan A. Strowger (1846 - 1921). After her death in Tampa, Florida, on April 14, 1921, her obituary appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, claiming she had additional "revolutionary" Strowger designs, but she had refused to make them public while she was alive because only others would profit from her husband's designs. She had claimed that her husband had only received $10,000 for his invention, when he should have received a million. 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Nickname: Cigar City, The Big Guava, T-Town Motto: Official website: http://www. ... April 14 is the 104th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (105th in leap years). ... 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


Strowger sold his patents in 1896 for $1,800 and sold his share in the Automatic Electric Company for $10,000 in 1898. His patents subsequently sold for $2.5 Million in 1916. 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Automatic Electric Company was a telephone equipment supplier for independent phone companies similar in many ways to the Bell Systems Western Electric. ... 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1916 (MCMXVI) is a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January-February January 1 - The Royal Army Medical Corps first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled. ...


A bronze plaque, to commemorate his invention, was placed on his grave in 1945 by telephone company officials. Strowger was admitted to the hall of fame of the U.S. Independent Telephone Association in 1965. Apart from his invention, his name has also been given to a locomotive and a company business award. 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link goes to calendar). ... A locomotive (from lat. ...


In 2003, the Verizon Foundation awarded $4500 to Pinellas Heritage, Inc. and the Pinellas Genealogy Society in Strowger's memory. The funds were used to develop a website to impart the history of the cemetery where Strowger is buried, and to restore two Civil War memorials. The Greenwood Cemetery project won an organization achievement award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.


Quote

  • Strowger was quoted as saying: "No longer will my competitor steal all my business just because his wife is a BELL operator."

Patents

  • U.S. Patent 447918 -- Strowger switch -- "Automatic Telephone Exchange" -- March 10, 1891

See also

A dial is a generally a flat disk, often with numbers or similar markings on it, used for displaying the setting or output of a timepiece, radio or measuring instrument In telephony and telecommunications in connection with a telephone, a dial refers, in older telephones, to a rotating disk with... The rotary dial is a device mounted on or in a telephone or switchboard that is designed to send interrupted electrical pulses, known as pulse dialing, corresponding to the number dialled. ... The word Strowger when used alone, has several possible meanings in the English language. ... In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange (US: telephone switch) is a piece of equipment that connects phone calls. ...

References

  1. Katherine Wilcox Thompson, "Penfield's Past", 1960, pub. by the Town of Penfield, NY, pp 178-179
  2. R.B.Hill, "Early Work on Dial Telephone Systems" January, 1953 Bell Laboratories Record. (Volume XXXI No. 1, January, 1953. P. 22 et. seq.)
  3. R.B.Hill, "The Early Years of the Strowger System" March, 1953 Bell Laboratories Record. (Volume XXXI No. 3, March, 1953. P. 95 et. seq.)

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Almon Strowger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1268 words)
Strowger was a man of some wealth at his death and was reported as owning at least a city block of property.
Strowger sold his patents in 1896 for $1,800 and sold his share in the Automatic Electric Company for $10,000 in 1898.
Strowger was admitted to the hall of fame of the U.S. Independent Telephone Association in 1965.
Textra Technology Limited (280 words)
Strowger invented an automatic exchange allowing connections between telephone lines to be made electromechanically without requiring a plug board.
Strowger was convinced that the local manual telephone exchange operators were sending calls to his competitor rather than his business and was so motivated to invent an automatic system.
Strowger’s design consisted of a device to create a train of electrical pulses corresponding to each digit (this evolved into the rotary dial telephone).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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