Since 1908 the n.1 source of all things Italian featuring Italian news, culture, business and travel

Issue link: https://italoamericanodigital.uberflip.com/i/293622

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 23

L'Italo-Americano THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014 www.italoamericano.com 2 incident with fireworks –a gig for extra money- or leaving his workplace due to 'women issues' for which he also went to jail where he also stayed for political reasons. When he lost his door- man job, he started working in theatres, and in one of them he established his first laboratory and his "acoustic telephone" that was used to communicate from the stage with contractors over the ceiling. Thanks to his technical skills, he was able to leave Tuscany for Havana in 1835, more or less ille- gally, since he could not get a passport due to old legal troubles. He spent 15 years in Cuba, by his accounts the happiest time of his life, until his entertainment con- tract with the theatre expired. In 1850, Meucci and his wife arrived in the United States and settled down in Staten Island until his death. He bought a cot- tage there, today the Garibaldi Meucci Museum. He also opened a candle factory, although neither this nor the later beer factory enjoyed much success, and the financial situation of the Meucci family worsenend. In the 20 years from 1851 to 1871, he perfected his earlier invention, and created a perfectly functioning appliance starting with one connection, already in place in 1856, between the base- ment/laboratory and the second floor bedroom of his wife, who was confined by a disabling rheumatic disease. In his notes from 1857 Meucci described the telephone as "a vibrating diaphragm magnet electrified by a spiral wire around it", and it's safe to say, it changed the world. Although he had resolved the technical problems, Meucci had to face a very harsh commercial and legal battle he wasn't pre- pared to fight. In 1871, he deposited in Washington a caveat Dear 'old phone' inventor: we have not forgotten you. Happy birthday! Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, Staten Island, NY Continued from page 1 Continued from page 1 Sound telegraph to present his invention but after three years it expired as he was missing the necessary funds to maintain it, though sources are controversial on these facts. Meucci claimed he gave the American District Telegraph Co. some prototypes and the compa- ny claimed to have lost them. Bell then presented his own patent similar, in everything, to the one belonging to Meucci who claimed the paternity of his invention and started a complex and lengthy legal action. Meucci never saw resolution as he died in 1889. In 2002, the last word was written on the dispute, when the United States Congress upon ini- tiative of the Italian American deputy Vito Fossella recognized that the invention of the tele- phone belongs to Antonio Meucci. At the time, the press tri- umphantly covered the event to celebrate a recognition that arrived 113 years after Meucci's death. We cannot forget such a bril- liant mind which proudly belonged to the first generation of Italian immigrants, and we wish the future generation even greater success in scientific discoveries that might once again change the world.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of L'Italo-Americano - italoamericano-digital-4-10-2014