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First Distant Speech Transmission in Canada Recognized as Engineering Milestone

May 4, 2008 – During CCECE 2008 Alexander Graham Bell’s first distant speech transmission in Paris, Ontario was recognized as a historic technological electrical engineering achievement and an IEEE milestone.

The citation on the plaque is:

First Distant Speech Transmission in Canada, 1876 On 10 August 1876, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated on this site that the human voice could be transmitted electrically over distance.

While family members spoke into a transmitter in Brantford, 13 km away, Bell was able to hear them at a receiver located here. This test convinced Bell that the invention could be used for communication between towns and could compete successfully with the telegraph.

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Pictures by Chris Maryan

The ceremony was a big success with somewhere in the area of 35 people attending. The local MP, MPP and mayor were present, along with various people from the IEEE and a few locals. It was very well received by the town.

The IEEE (formerly the) began the Milestones program in 1983 to honour technological innovation and excellence in electrical, electronic, and computer engineering. To be approved for this award, a project must be at least twenty-five years old, must have involved a unique solution to an engineering problem, and must have had a regional impact. There are currently more than 100 Milestones around the world, over ten of which are in Canada. This will be Manitoba’s second Milestone; in 2005, the Nelson River HVDC transmission system was also recognized.

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