Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Mabel Hubbard Bell, July 26, 1881
I came to the conclusion that our wires must enter by the open door but this necessitated lengthening the wires so as to reach from window A right across to the surgeon's room into the hall or passage way.
One portion of the apparatus could be placed in the angle D and the exploring part of the Induction Balance with the telephone could be connected by wires long enough to reach easily to the President's bed.
Mr. Tainter and I set to work in the surgeon's room adding on the requisite lengths of wires and while we were in the midst of our preparations the President awoke and the doctors went in to dress the wound.
We found it difficult to adjust the balance so as to obtain silence. A spluttering sort of sound made its appearance and the hearing distance seemed to be impaired. I sent Mr. Tainter down to the basement to see whether the interrupter needed adjustment but before he could return the doctors beckoned me to enter the room — and the experiment had to be made with the apparatus just as it was. Dr. Bliss took the exploring coils and I listened at the telephone.
The screen had been removed and a gentleman knelt at the bedside supporting the President who had turned over on his side — resting his head upon the gentleman's shoulder and helping to support himself by clasping the gentleman round the neck. His head was so buried on the gentleman's shoulder that he could not see any person in the room. No one spoke a word during the experiment. I have tried to recall for your benefit the relative places of all the persons present so far as possible and you will find them noted in the enclosed drawing.