Tivadar Puskás

Biography

Tivadar Puskás was born in 1844 in Hungary and developed the idea of the telephone exchange to make several calls possible at the same time.

After education at home he moved to England and graduated as a mechanical engineer. He gathered experience at a railway construction company and then moved to Transylvania where he was employed as an official of a railway company. He moved to the U.S. in 1875 and worked as a gold miner in Colorado while he began work on a telegraph exchange scheme. When Bell invented the telephone in 1876 he decided to contact Thomas Edison and discuss a telephone exchange based on his telegraph exchange.

In 1877 the Bell Telephone Company created a telephone exchange in Boston based on his plans. Puskás then set up an exchange in Paris. His younger brother, Ferenc, assisted him there. Another exchange was set up in Budapest. In 1887 he introduced the multiplex switchboard, crucial for further development of the telephone exchange.

He also introduced the revolutionary "Telephone News Service" in 1893, announcing news broadcasting programs, considered the forerunner of radio and internet. Thanks to his new exchange, over half a million people could listen to his programs, a massive accomplishment after Edison's original maximum of fifty listeners. Puskás died that year (1893) without much public recognition for his work.

Further Reading

https://dailynewshungary.com/the-inventor-of-the-telephone-exchange-tivadar-puskas-was-born-175-years-ago/