An anonymous reader writes: When Johann Philipp Reis used his telephone to transmit the phrase "the horse does not eat cucumber salad" 150 years ago, the German scientist could never have guessed this sentence was about to revolutionise communications. Reis presented his invention in a lecture titled, "Concerning the reproduction of sounds over any distance by means of galvanic electricity," to the Physical Society of Frankfurt on October 26, 1861. The 27-year-old chose the unusual phrase about horses and cucumbers so that a listener could not guess the meaning of the sentence without hearing every single word.
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