Ordinary people who know nothing of phonetics or elocution have difficulties in understanding slow speech composed of perfect sounds, while they have no difficulty in comprehending an imperfect gabble if only the accent and rhythm are natural.
Such a chimerical idea as telegraphing vocal sounds would indeed, to most minds, seem scarcely feasible enough to spend time in working over. I believe, however, that it is feasible and that I have got the cue to the solution of the problem.
The inventor is a man who looks around upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea. The spirit of invention possesses him, seeking materialization.
Watson, ... if I can get a mechanism which will make a current of electricity vary in its intensity, as the air varies in density when a sound is passing through it, I can telegraph any sound, even the sound of speech.
What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.