TIVADAR PUSKÁS (b. Pest, 17 Sept. 1844 - Budapest, 16 March 1893) was one of Hungary's most famous inventors and the creator of the “telephone newspaper”. He went to school in Vienna, but was unable to finish his studies at the Polytechnic School due to the death of his father.

In 1877 he traveled to America, where he suggested the idea of a telephone exchange to Edison. He later became Edison's representative in Europe. His patented telephone newspaper was launched in Budapest in 1893 and provided news and programs over the telephone lines. It is seen as the predecessor to the radio.

In the initial phases, the telephone newspaper operated over the telephone network, and subscribers could request the program to be turned on by the central exchange. “Broadcasting” began on 15 February 1893, with 25 subscribers. Within two years, however, the telephone newspaper had five thousand subscribers, and was operated over a separate telephone system specially used for the telephone newspaper. Subscribers had a small wooden board with two telephones hanging on it in their homes.

The telephone newspaper united the reality of telecommunication with the idea of program broadcasting. News from around the world was announced continuously, updated every hour, including prices on the stock market and commodity markets, weather reports and the exact time. Later, there were also concerts, opera and theater performances which could he heard. In the end, a special studio was set up for broadcasting speakers and chamber music.

Tivadar Puskás himself, however, did not live to enjoy his invention: he died at the pinnacle of his career as an inventor, aged 49, just one month after operation of the telephone newspaper began. His truly ground-breaking enterprise was one of the first major steps forward in the field of mass communications, along with the development of printed media.

The telephone newspaper functioned until 1925, when it was merged with the newly launched radio broadcasting services.

Last edited by Arthur P. Bloom; 09/08/12 11:34 PM.

Arthur P. Bloom
"30 years of faithful service...15 years on hold"