In 1877 Alexander Graham Bell visited England, where he demonstrated his phone to various business and scientific organizations but nobody expressed special interest in his invention. However, despite the lack of public enthusiasm, European inventors took into account Bell's invention and began experimenting with the device. Many of them were well versed in the natural sciences and also had sufficient funds to carry out experiments. These including the Englishman Louis Crossley, son of a wool production plant owner in Halifax.
Crossley was a young man in poor health, but of great ability. At an early age he explored a lot of equipment in his father's factory. At the age of 19 he began to study electricity with John Waterhouse, one of the pioneers in this field. Later Crossley, for first time in the history of British Industry, applied electricity to light the family enterprise.
In 1865 he married. He then built his own house, which had special areas for laboratories and workshops, where Crossley continued his studies.
The curious mind of Crossley was interested in Bell's invention. For his experiments to improve the phone he built a pair of telephones. The main goal of its development, which took place almost simultaneously with Ader's experiments in France and Blake's in the U.S., was to overcome the limitations of distance voice transmission over the telephone.
Crossley and Ader independently turned to the work of Professor Hughes, a British-born American inventor who, in 1877, created an improved microphone, a carbon transmitter of Thomas Edison. But this device was not perfect.
The microphone, invented by Crossley, made it possible to transmit sound over a distance of up to eight miles. Phones with the new device were put into production. In 1879 the United Telephone Company bought a patent from Crossley for his invention for £20,000. Soon Crossley phones with carbon microphones were put into mass production. All this happened within three years after obtaining a patent by Bell. Thus, the phones with the Crossley device were first used en masse.
The British Post Office, which caught up with the times, purchased the unit in large quantities. They paid attention to them both home and abroad: Australia, South America and, according to some sources, they were evaluated in Japan.
Crossley excelled in various fields. In addition to inventing he was seriously interested in meteorology and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. In addition, he headed the board of directors of the family company, which manufactured carpets.
Crossley died in 1891, shortly after he returned from a cruise, which was intended to improve his poor health.