On March 3, 1847, Alexander Graham Bell was born: the first patent for the modern telephone was his
On March 3, 1847, Alexander Graham Bell was born, the man who is credited in popular culture with the invention of the first working telephone. The first patent for such a device was his, but the scientific community remains divided to this day as to Bell 's actual authorship of this revolutionary invention.
Both the Italian Antonio Meucci, but also many other inventors of the time, have fought over the actual authorship of the telephone. Despite all the controversy, today Bell is not actually considered the inventor of the telephone, but he nevertheless remains one of the most influential and most important figures in human history.
On what would have been his 176th birthday, we would like to dedicate this short article to him in which we review his story and what happened in the diatribe with Meucci.
Alexander Graham Bell, one of the fathers of the telephone
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but a naturalized U.S. citizen, Bell was an engineer and inventor who is credited with the first official patent for the electric telephone, the ancestor of our voice communication devices. The authorship of that invention, as is often the case in the scientific community of any age, is widely debated, especially vis-à-vis the Italian Antonio Meucci, believed by many to be the true father of the telephone.
The controversy Bell-Meucci
This is one of the most famous battles that has occurred in the scientific community. Indeed, it seems that it was Meucci who invented the first telephone, and that authorship was attributed to Bell. How? As early as 1854, Meucci made the first prototype of a telephone, which he called the telectrophone. However, it was not until 1871 that he was able to pay for a provisional patent, renewable annually at a price of $10. He could only renew it until 1873 because of financial problems. Three years later, Bell patent and filed a device really very similar to that of Meucci, called the telephone. This resulted in a lawsuit, but Meucci could not afford it. The judge decided in the facts to agree with Bell, who for more than 100 years was considered the true inventor of this device.
The recognition of the U.S.: even today the issue is debated
In 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives then officially recognized the paternity of the telephone to the Italian Antonio Meucci after more than a century, but even today some critics disagree with this resolution, still lacking incontrovertible evidence of paternity from Meucci. Certainly, the invention of the telephone was possible thanks to the work of so many engineers, scientists and inventors, including Innocenzo Manzetti, Johann Philipp Reis, Elisha Gray and Thomas Edison. What is certain is that the name Alexander Graham Bell was actually on the first, real, officially filed patent for the telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell presents the phone
In this beautiful depiction, the Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell is intent on presenting his most famous invention, the telephone precisely, at Lyceum Hall in Salem, in Massachusetts, an event that actually took place on March 15, 1877. But Bell cannot be reduced to just the telephone and the controversy this invention ignited. While it is true that this made him famous for years to come, it is equally true that his contribution to science was not limited only to this
Alexander Graham Bell: not only the phone patent
In fact, even after filing the patent for the telephone, Bell continued to work on and experiment with many processes and devices that would serve as a starting point for future inventions that would later revolutionize the world. In fact, he is credited with the first conceptual studies that would later lead to the invention of fiber optic technology and that of magnetic media as a method of voice storage and born (hard disk, floppy disk and the like). It seems that the invention of the first metal detector is also due to Bell. His laboratories are also credited with the introduction of the unit of measurement Bel, now known as Decibel (dB).