Annals of Science 39 (5):433-461 (1982)

Abstract
Through 1886 to 1889 understanding of the mechanism of telephone transmission was transformed from an electrostatic and traditional view to an electrodynamic one conforming with Maxwell's scheme. Observed at the level of commercial application this painful adjustment occurred via a sequence of controversies connected with self-induction—on techniques of telephony, on electrical measurement, on lightning conductors and on matters of professional ethics—in which the parts played by evidence, by theory, and by authority were strangely mixed. The well-known confrontation of O. Heaviside and W. H. Preece was at the centre of the debate. An open division between traditionalists and progressives amongst electrical engineers was provoked, and the effectiveness of mathematical theory as against pure pragmatism at the practical level had in the end to be conceded
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Reprint years 2006
DOI 10.1080/00033798200200351
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