In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented his telephone. Edison, with the help of Charles Batchelor, came up with an invention that vastly improved the transmission of the speakers voice across the wires. The carbon button transmitter is a part of the mouthpiece of a telephone. Western Union wanted to get around Bells patents so they wouldnt have to pay Bell to use the technology hed invented, so they put Edison on the problem. His transmitter produced clearer, stronger sounds and is still used in most telephones today.