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Antonio Meucci's life story - in brief

Telephony was his life-long quest

 
 
The detailed chronology found at the following link summarizes very well the major events in Antonio Meucci's life.  Published by Prof. Eugenii Katz, it is a composite of information derived from various Internet sites.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
                                 
Another source... 
                                
 
 

 
 
 
A story by Gerry Vassilatos
(Found in the Internet)
 

HEARING THROUGH WIRES: The Physiophony of ANTONIO MEUCCI

 
The following is one section of Gerry Vassilatos' essay:
 
 

TELEPHONE SYSTEMS

Those who wished the implementation of telephony for financial gain, chose more controllable and less passionate individuals. Neither Meucci, Gray, nor Reis fit this category of choice. The Bell designs are obvious and direct copies of those long previously made by Meucci. The dubious manner in which the Bell patents were "handled and secured" speak more of "financial sleight of hand" than true inventive genius. The all too obvious manipulations behind the patent office desk are revealed in the historically pale claim that Bell secured his patent "15 minutes" before Gray applied for his caveat. Today it is not doubted whether perpetrators of such an arrogance would not go as far as to claim "15 years priority".

Lastly, this fraudulent action denied the years-previous Caveat of Meucci, which "could never be found at all in the patent records" during later trial proceedings. No mind. Meucci is a legend. A name suffused by mysteries. The Meucci caveat remains to this day on public record. All subsequent telephone patents are invalid. Meucci bears legal first-right. No lawyer today will decline this recorded truth.

All other court actions taken against Meucci toward the end of his life was staged by both the corporate Telephone Companies and the Court itself for the expressed purpose of securing the communications monopoly. The complete and operational Meucci Telephonic System, witnessed and used by countless visitors and neighbors for equally numerous years before Bell, was well documented in both Italian and local papers of the day.

To read the transcript of the Meucci court battle waged around the now aged and infirm Meucci is to witness the fear which large megaliths sustain. Though Meucci was not able to afford the yearly renewal price of his caveat, his priority was damaging, otherwise they would not have taken such measures to examine him publicly. The Bell Company sought to minimize Meuccis system by calling it nothing more than an elaborate "string telephone" in court proceedings, exposing themselves on several counts of fraud. Scientifically, this line of defense was unfounded. The obviously slack lines made the Meucci System incapable of conducting merely elastic vibrations with such clarity and amplitude. Moreover, the velvety rich tones received through these devices were far too modified, clarified, and loud to be "mere mechanical transmissions".

It was then hoped that the elderly gentleman would desist the entire crude process and give up. Meucci was publicly and ethnically labelled by leading journalists as "that old Italian, that old...candlemaker". Meucci maintained his ground to the consternation of the prosecuting attorney. Priority of diagrams, witnesses, working models...nothing could satisfy the predetermined judgement of the court.

To add insult to injury, Meuccis character was vilified in the press. In numerous pro-corporate newspaper articles Meucci is referred to as "a villain...a liar...an old fool". Predetermined to satisfy the corporate megalith, a deliberate and shameful court examination had as its aim the eradication of Meucci and his claim of priority. This process would later become the normal mode of business operation when destroying competitive technologies. With no hope of financial reprise in sight, Meucci ceased the excessive court fees. This was precisely what the monopoly wished. The fact yet remains that Meucci was first to invent the system.

Throughout the years, Meuccis name was not even mentioned in the history of telephonics. Closer evaluation of this true social phenomenon in "information control" reveals that communications history sources were controlled and principally provided in later years by Bell Labs to school text companies. They would ensure that the otherwise complex story was "straightened out".

It is also obvious that Meucci and his countrymen were never truly "embraced" by the American establishment until they took deliberate action. To the very end of his life, Meucci simply and elegantly maintained his serene statements in absolute confidence of the truth which was his own. "The telephone, which I invented and which I first made known...was stolen from me".

The more important fact in these matters of intrigue is recognizing that discovery itself is no respecter of persons or indeed of nations. Discovery touches those who honor its revelations. Discovery is an inspiring ray whose tracings are never limited by laws, prejudices, unbelief, nation, ethnic group, or economic bracket.

 

<< HEARING THROUGH WIRES: The Physiophony of ANTONIO MEUCCI >> - From the book "Lost Science" by Gerry Vassilatos published in 1999 by Adventure Unlimited Press - Click here to access full story.

 
 
 
 
                                 
Another source... 
                                
 
 

 
Link to the Italian Historical Society of America for the complete story.
 
 
 
 

 

 

ANTONIO MEUCCI

 

Partial text of essay: 

 

         A dramatic event, in which Meucci was severely burned in the explosion of the steamship Westfield returning from New York, brought things to an even more tragic state.  While Meucci lay in hospital, miraculously alive after the disaster, his wife sold many of his working models (including the telephone prototype) and other materials to a secondhand dealer for six dollars.  When Meucci sought to buy these precious objects back, he was told that they had been resold to an 'unknown young man' whose identity remains a mystery to this day.
 
    Crushed, but not beaten, Meucci worked night and day to reconstruct his invention and to produce new designs and specifications, clearly apprehensive that someone could steal the device before he could have it patented.  Unable to raise the sum for a definitive patent ($250, considerable in those days), he took recourse in the caveat or notice of intent, which was registered on December 28, 1871 and renewed in 1872 and 1873 but, fatefully, not thereafter.
 
      Immediately after he received certification of the caveat, Meucci tried again to demonstrate the enormous potential of the device, delivering a model and technical details to the vice president of one of the affiliates of the newly established Western Union Telegraph Company, asking permission to demonstrate his 'Talking Telegraph' on the wires of the Western Union system.  However, each time that Meucci contacted this vice president, a certain Edward B. Grant, he was told that there had been no time to arrange the test.  Two years passed, after which Meucci demanded the return of his materials, only to be told that they had been 'lost.'  It was then 1874.
 
        In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent that does not really describe the telephone but refers to it as such.  When Meucci learned of this, he instructed his lawyer to protest to the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, something that was never done.  However, a friend did contact Washington, only to learn that all the documents relevant to the 'Talking Telegraph' filed in Meucci's caveat had been 'lost.'  Later investigation produced evidence of illegal relationships linking certain employees of the Patent Office and officials of Bell's company.  And later, in the course of litigation between Bell and Western Union, it was revealed that Bell had agreed to pay Western Union 20 percent of profits from commercialization of his 'invention' for a period of 17 years.  Millions of dollars were involved, but the price may been cheaper than revealing facts better left hidden, from Bell's point of view.
 
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