Who really invented the phone: scientists reveal new details
It's hard for us to imagine a world without phones. Bulky desktop devices have evolved into compact, multifunctional smartphones, and we can instantly talk to someone on the other side of the globe, but just over a century ago information could take weeks or even months to reach the recipient.
We are accustomed to believe that the inventor of the telephone is Alexander Bell, a scientist and entrepreneur from the United States. Whether this is true was investigated by Live Science.
The first phone call
On March 10, 1876, a global event occurred that forever changed humanity's view of the world and communication. It turned out that there was a way to transmit information instantly over long distances. It was on March 10, almost 147 years ago, that Alexander Bell made the first telephone call.
The phrase Bell said to his assistant Thomas Watson became a winged phrase: "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you". With these words the telephone era began.
Was Bell the first
Ivan Morus, a British scientist, emphasized that great inventions are almost never the result of one man's work.
The 19th century was a period of scientific and technological revolution and a massive "boom" of discoveries. One discovery became the basis for another. Different scientists claimed to be the discoverer of this or that invention.
"For example, take telegraphs. The patent holders of the electromagnetic telegraph could not share the glory and decide which of them had invented it. The same can be said about the invention of the light bulb and many other devices," Morus noted.
So Bell was not the only one to claim the invention of the telephone. Christopher Beauchamp, a member of the Brooklyn Law School, pointed out that back in the 19th century many scientists believed that Bell had simply appropriated someone else's idea.
Who are Antonio Meucci, Johann Philipp Reis, and Elijah Gray
The position according to which the telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci, an Italian scientist, is now popular among researchers. It was he, as the proponents of this theory point out, who in 1860, that is, long before Bell's first bell, understood the principle of transforming sound vibrations into electrical impulses, thus transmitting voice over a distance.
Another electrical engineer, Elijah Gray, even took the case to court. The court found Gray's evidence insufficient and ruled that it was Bell who invented the telephone.
In 1861 in Germany, the physicist Johann Philipp Reiss designed the world's first electric telephone, so he too has the right to claim the title of discoverer. There was just one important disadvantage - it was impossible to talk on Reiss's phone continuously. Bell's apparatus, created 15 years later, of course, was more perfect, but one should not belittle the merits of Reiss either.
Why Bell is called the inventor of the telephone?
Bell was a businessman and knew the law very well. He immediately enlisted the help of lawyers and obtained patents.
"The main reason Bell is now called the discoverer of the telephone is that, with the help of lawyers, he was able to prove this fact in court arguments," said Beauchamp.
Gray and Bell applied for the patent almost simultaneously. What's more - Gray's application came earlier. But Bell had more money, so his lawyers were able to pay the admin fees for the patent earlier than Gray did. It was not long before the Bell Telephone Company became the absolute monopoly for telecommunications in the United States.
Still, it must be admitted that Bell's telephone was technically better than its predecessors' and competitors' inventions.
Previously OBOZREVATEL told about the top 10 inventions that have changed the world forever.