Controversy Who Really Invented the Telephone Part 5 Antonio Meucci

About the controversy over who really invented the telephone, Italian Antonio Meucci's claim.



An impoverished Italian-born candlemaker and brewer, Meucci claimed that he had invented a telephone as early as 1857, consisting of "a vibrating diaphragm and an electrified magnet attachment attached to a coil. Vibration of the diaphragm alters the current in the magnet and these alterations in current are transmitted along a wire, causing analogous vibrations in the receiving diaphragm at the other end of the wire and so reproducing the message." With his device, he said, he had talked with his invalid wife from the basement to the third floor of his house in Havana, Cuba. He managed to file a provisional patent in 1871 but never publicly demonstrated his telephone. His description indicates that it may have been capable of transmitting articulate, though distorted, speech. After close inspection of Meucci's telephone, the courts ruled that the candlemaker, as one of Bell's numerous challengers, had achieved no practical results. But the Encyclopedia Italiana still lists him as "inventor of the telephone."

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