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December 31, 2007

Telephone inventors

After reading the AP story regarding Seth Shulman’s book about the invention of the telephone (12/27, A-6, “Book argues that Bell stole phone idea”), I was amazed that the real first inventor of the telephone was not even mentioned!
In 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized Antonio Meucci, an Italian immigrant, as the official inventor of the telephone. He invented it in 1849 and eventually developed a practical working model. For reasons too numerous to go into, he didn’t file an intent to take out a patent (known as a patent caveat) until 1871, still years before Gray or Bell. He could not afford the $250, a lot of money back then, for a definitive patent. Bell, a rich man, of course won the court fight for the patent.
I don’t know if Shulman mentions Meucci in The Telephone Gambit (coming out in January), but if he doesn’t, he is seriously remiss.
Frank Strada
Overland Park



This made me smile. I had never heard of Antonio Meucci until Tony Soprano was telling Anthony Jr about him as a point of Italian pride.


That's the way we roll in the US, we teach history to fit the agenda.
Just look at all the credit Edison gets while most people have no idea to Nikola Tesla is.

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