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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
19th March 1944 Tippett's oratorium Child of Our Time, premieres in London
Microphone Inventor lived Here
Not only a fine musician but also an awesome brain
Location: 94 Great Portland Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 7NU
Description: 'David Edward Hughes', born on 16 May 1831, was a British scientist and musician.
Hughes was co-inventor of the microphone, discoverer of spark-gap radio, inventor of crystal radio, and teletype. He also independently invented a semiconductor rectifier diode, which he used to invent the crystal radio detector for the world's first radio transmitter and receiver. He was a harpist, and a professor of music.
Hughes was born to Welsh parents in London in 1831 and emigrated to the United States at the age of seven. He was an experimental physicist, mostly in the areas of electricity and signals.
He also invented an improved microphone, which was a modification of Thomas Edison's carbon telephone transmitter. He revived the term 'microphone' to describe the transmitter's ability to transmit extremely weak sounds to a Bell telephone receiver.
And so to this spot, Hughes lived and worked here up until his death on 22 January 1900. A blue plaque marks the spot, and rightly so.