When Was the Phone Invented?

Although you may see the telephone as a very common and basic device in your life, there remains a great deal of controversy over its development and the person who is credited to the original technology. If you look at the technology involved in the telephone, there are, in fact, a large number of people who contributed to it, including Antonio Meucci, Thomas Edison, Innocenzo Manzetti, Johann Philipp Reis, Elisha Gray, and Alexander Graham Bell. This may seem like a lot of people, but it is only part of the list of people who have bought credit for the invention, each having their own case to support their claim.

In truth, the history of the telephone is much more based on the timing of patent registration, the lapse of registered patents, and lawsuits than it is about the development of technology – at least in the early days. And with all of this conflict, the true controversies has never actually been resolved. Officially, though, it was Bell and Edison's patents that won out in the end. Therefore, on paper, it was those two gentlemen who "did the right thing" in order to receive the credit – whether or not this was the truth of the matter off the official documentation is another story altogether.

Elisha Gray is the inventor who has one of the most dramatic and convincing stories to conflict with the official paperwork and registrations. Elisha Gray developed his own device for transmitting speech electronically independently of Alexander Graham Bell, but at exactly the same time. In fact, they completed their studies and headed to the patent office within mere hours of one another. However, it was Bell who reached the patent office first and had already registered his version of the phone by the time Gray had arrived. A legal battle ensued, and again Bell won.

Therein lies the conflict about who should actually receive credit for the phone. After all, Gray had come up with the device as well, completely on his own, but the patent timing was the only reason he had not obtained the credit.

Although the history of the phone remains wrapped in mystery for various details, you do not need to wonder who has been calling you because of today's technology to search a phone number .

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