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The term telephone was far ahead of the emergence of practical telephony. In 1795 X. Wolke, the landlord of one of St. Petersburg's guesthouses, demonstrated to Catherine his 'telephone art' in Gatchina: a demonstration of acoustic communication through pipes between Petersburg and Kronstadt.

A little more than 30 years later, in 1828, the Frenchman B. Sudr unveiled his 'telefonium' – a mechanical device for transmitting sound over a distance. In England, a similar device called the telephone was already suggested in 1831 by Charles Wheatstone. And, in 1838 in Germany, this term was used by E. Romersgauzen. He called the telephone 'a device with the ability to transmit sound far away using rails'.

In fact all of these innovators offered variations of apparatus for transmitting sound over a distance, based on the so-called Pull-cord phone - a child's toy, which appeared in 1667 thanks to R. Hooke. And, even earlier, in 968, according to a letter in the Peking Gazette, the Chinese inventor Kung Fu Wing invented and made the thumtsein, which apparently transmitted sound through pipes.