Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone, Right? Not Necessarily

It would be hard to imagine our lives without a phone today and we can all thank Alexander Graham Bell for the invention, right? Well, you might be wrong. Actually, there was a good deal of controversy over the patent for the telephone that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

Have you ever heard of Daniel Drawbaugh? He was an inventor who lived in Eberly Mills, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. During his lifetime, he acquired over 125 patents for various inventions.

Daniel Drawbaugh’s home in Pennsylvania

House in which Daniel Drawbaugh invented the first telephone in the early 1860's

He was a pioneer in placing insulation on electrical wires and had a particular curiosity about electricity. His interest in electricity led him to experiment with telephones as early as 1861 using a teacup and old mustard can. By 1867, he was able to transmit a human voice which he frequently demonstrated to family and friends. However, he was unable to afford a patent for the device.daniel drawbaugh's model

Alexander Graham Bell was also experimenting with a similar device and came to see Daniel Drawbaugh’s. Shortly, after Bell’s visit,  Daniel’s shop was broken into and one of his telephone device was stolen.  When Alexander Graham Bell, received his patent on February 14, 1876, Daniel Drawbaugh asserted that it was on his invention, not Alexander Graham Bell’s invention.

Drawbaugh sued Alexander Graham Bell and the case went on for almost eight years. Finally, the Supreme Court finally ruled 4-3 against Drawbaugh’s claim, after which Drawbaugh accused a justice of a conflict of interest for holding significant stock in Bell Telephone. People’s Telephone Company soon went out of business. Unfazed, Drawbaugh continued his claims against Bell.

In 1903, Drawbaugh returned briefly to the national stage when he publicly insisted that he had invented radio before Marconi. Drawbaugh died of a heart attack in 1911, soon after Bell Telephone Company offered him a settlement to end his litigation once and for all.

Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Gardiner Greene Hubbard, June 2, 1875  bell letter 1875

Letter from Benjamin Peirce to Alexander Graham Bell, April 20, 1877

letter alexander graham bell

Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Alexander H. Rice, April 21, 1877

Bell Letter 1877

First bell telephone Jun 1875

birthplace of telephone

SOURCES

  1. The Telephone Appeals (January 24 to February 8, 1887) James Jackson Storrow Alfred Mudge & Son, Law Printers, 1887
  2. Library of Congress

You can now give a gift of Amazon Prime  = click this link to learn how – Shop Amazon – Give the Gift of Amazon Prime – A prime membership includes FREE movies, FREE music and FREE photo storage as well as FREE shipping

See best-selling books by Donna R Causey

Vinegar of the Four Thieves was a recipe that was known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties for years. It was even used to cure the Bubonic Plague. See Thomas Jefferson’s recipe in VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past

Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past (Paperback)
See larger image

Additional Images:Img - 1517010209
Img - 1517010209

Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past (Paperback)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

List Price: $12.77
New From: $12.77 In Stock
buy now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *