Biography of Antonio Meucci (1808-1889)

Inventor and Italian scientist born in Florence in 1808 and died in New York in 1889. He/She was the inventor of the telephone, even though historically the "fatherhood" of the device was attributed to the American of Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell.

Meucci had studied mechanical engineering in his native Florence and in the Decade of the 1930s emigrated to Cuba in search of fortune. He/She had no luck and after working for some years as a stagehand and healer in Havana returned to journey, this time bound for New York.

In Cuba, while working with rheumatic patients, that small electric shocks applied to alleviate the pain, he/she discovered that the transformation of sound vibrations into electrical impulses allowed to transmit voice to distance, through a cable. In the 1950s he/she began designing telephone prototypes. It was built in 1855 and 1871 model first presented a sophisticated gadget.

That same year, the demand for patent of the device requested in New York and baptized with the name of teletrofono. To renew the demand document you had to pay ten dollars each year. The Italian scientist fulfilled this obligation the first two, but in 1874 he/she could not get the money and lost their legal rights to the invention.

Meucci then sought financial support and presented his teletrofono to Western Union, but the famous Telegraph Company rejected the offer. In 1876 and for surprise and unfortunately for Meucci, the physicist of Scottish-born Graham Bell patented an apparatus of voice transmission which he/she called phone. The Italian scientist claimed their rights in the courts but died without anyone to recognize his contribution to one of the major inventions of the 20th century.

For more than one century remained the error attribute the paternity of the phone to Graham Bell until finally, on 11 June 2002, the Congress of the United States officially recognized Meucci as its true inventor.

In addition to the telephone, the Italian scientist devised a system of filters for water purification and introduced the use of paraffin in the manufacture of candles.