Tivadar Puskas Hungarian inventorTivadar Puskás is one of the most significant inventors in the Hungarian history of engineering with the greatest impact on the world in terms of human communications.

He was born in Pest on September 17th 1844, his family was part of the Transylvanian nobility. Puskás started his engineering studies in Vienna and continued them at the Budapest University of Technology. After his studies, he undertook some work and business in London, Transylvania and the United States and then he decided to return to Europe to build a telegraph network in London and Brussels, however his idea was considered too expensive.

When he heard about Bell’s new invention, the telephone, Puskás realized that he should build a telephone exchange.  He visited and convinced Edison that the great service of telephone is needed to be available to the public as well. In 1879, he built Europe’s first telephone exchange in Paris. In Budapest, the world’s 4th exchange commenced in 1881.

telephone exchange of TIvadar PuskasHis next invention was the Telephone News Service which announced news and broadcast programmes, like operas from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day almost during 30 years. As an ironic turn of events, the announcement of his death at his age of 49 caused by heart attack was made possible by his own invention.

According to legend he also contributed to the world’s common vocabulary with the word “hello”. Allegedly it was Puskás who first used “hello” as a greeting during a phone conversation. It comes from the Hungarian “hallom” which means “I can hear you”.

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