American Alexander Graham Bell has been considered the telephone inventor for a century, but as a matter of fact he borrowed this idea from Italian scientist Antonio Meucci. This was said in several research works, which had been published in Italy recently, the US Congress acknowledged this fact as well. Immigrant from Florence Meucci was the first person, who thought that sound vibration could be converted to electronic impulses, which would allow to have voice transmitted with the help of wires.
Meucci conducted his tests in Havana (Cuba), where he was dealing with treating rheumatism with the help of electric discharges, and submitted an application to patent his invention in 1871. However, he could not resubmit his inquiry for the following two years, because he did not have ten American dollars. In 1874 he decided to present his invention to American telegraph company Western Union, which did not evince much interest in it at first, and then claimed that they had lost the description of the novelty.
Two years later Meucci was very surprised to read the news about the great invention of telephone by Graham Bell (under the patronage of the company Western Union, by the way). The Italian guy dared to sue the powerful company, New York court acknowledged his rightfulness in 1887, but he could not use his invention anyway, because the patent expired long ago.
Antonio Meucci died in poverty in 1889. His contemporaries never acknowledged his right for the invention, which led to the revolution in the world of communication. Researchers say he was so unlucky because of his poverty, bad English, but his biggest disadvantage was his inability to stand for his interests in front of powerful adversaries. The US Congress approved the statement last week, acknowledging Antonio Meucci’s right for the invention of telephone and “stressing out his amazing and tragic scientific fate.”
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov