02 September 2007

Dolbear's Law

Amos Dolbear was an American physicist and inventor. He researched electrical spark conversion into sound waves and electrical impulses.

While a student at Ohio Wesleyan, Amos made a "talking telegraph" and invented a receiver containing two features of the modern telephone.

He invented the first telephone receiver in 1865, 11 years before your boy Alexander Graham Bell patented his model.

Later, Dolbear couldn't prove his claim and lost his case before the Supreme Court and Alexander Graham Bell kept the patent. Bell was thereby awarded the first U.S. patent for the invention of the telephone in 1876.


In 1897 Amos Dolbear published an article called "The Cricket as a Thermometer". In it Dolbear expressed the scientific and mathematical relationship betwixt the air temperature and the rate at which crickets chirp.

His formula provided a way to estimate the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit from the number of cricket chirps per minute.

The formula became known as Dolbear's Law.

So if ever you can't sleep and you've grown tired of counting sheep, pretend its 1876 and count the number of cricket chirps in 15 seconds. Add 40 to that number. The result will be the current Fahrenheit temperature.

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