Who Invented the Telephone? Was it Graham Bell?

Who invented the telephone is a common question asked in most of the General Knowledge Quiz Competitions. There is no need to mention the inventor of telephone was Alexander Graham Bell. Through out the history he has been credited for the invention. Let's know some facts related to this invention!

Who invented the telephone
Alexander Graham Bell Making First Demo Telephone Call

Who Invented The Telephone?

Even though there has been claims Alexander Graham bell was the inventor of Telephone, there were controversy and lawsuits around this claim. The concept of telephone (Sending sound waves) was not at a new concept at the era of Graham Bell. 

Birth of Telephone

It was believed the first telephone was the string telephone or lovers telephone was the first step towards the electronic telephones came into existence. In string telephone two diaphragms were connected through a string. One speaker used to speak at one end of the diaphragm and other one at the other end could easily heard what had the speaker said.

String Telephone

String is a good carrier of sound waves. Even though the sound waves are not passed electrically, but it used to travel in the mode of vibration and at the other end listener could easily hear what had the speaker spoke. Technically speaking this is kind of sound wave transmitter but not a telephone. However professionals believe it had opened the door to the concept of "Sending and receiving sound waves" electronically. 

Charles Grafton Page

In 1840, Charles Grafton Page, an electrical experimenter, physician, and professor of chemistry came up with a device named "galvanic music". He had passed electricity through a coil connected to two horse shoe magnets and it created a ringing sound. 

Charles Bourseul

A french telegraph engineer - Charles Bourseul had proposed but did not build the first design of a telephone in 1854.

Johann Philipp Reis

John Philipp Reis had succeeded in making a device that used to capture sound, converted it into electrical signals transmitted through wire to another device and this device used to convert back these electrical signals into sound waves. He termed the device "telephon". Despite this device used to transmit sound waves in the form of electrical waves but it was hardly possible for commercial usage because of the low quality sound reproduction. His invention was popularly known as Reis Telephone. 

Note: There are postal stamps available in the memory of John Philipp Reis.

Antonio Meucci

Antonio Meucci was an Italian inventor and an associate of Giuseppe Garibaldi, and he had invented voice communicating device around 1854. He called this device "telettrofono".

Elisha Gray

Elisha Gray, was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company, had developed a device and termed it 'Tone Telegraph'. This device had multiple vibrating steel reeds tuned to different frequencies interrupted the current and at the other end of the line passed through electromagnets and vibrated matching tuned steel reeds the electromagnet poles. On July 27, 1875, Gray was granted U.S. patent 166,096 for "Electric Telegraph for Transmitting Musical Tones" (the harmonic)

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell, was a Scottish-born American inventor, scientist, and engineer. He had pioneered a system called visible speech which was developed by his father to teach deaf children. In 1882, he became U.S citizen. 

Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell

He had been fascinated by the idea of transmitting speech. In 1875, he had developed a device that could easily converted electricity into sound. Mean while other engineers too were working on this concept of speech transmission and were debates floating around other engineers should be credited for the invention. However Graham Bell was granted a patent for the telephone on 7 March 1876. In next one year, first telephone exchange was built in Connecticut. The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877. Graham Bell was holding one third of the shares in the company which made him a wealthy man in the United States.

Why did Graham Bell Credited the inventor of Telephone?

Despite there were claims, debates around with the names of other engineers for the invention of telephone, Graham Bell had been credited for the invention of Telephone for the following reasons. 

- He had developed the device for the first time where two people could able to speak and hear properly. 
- He was the first man granted a patent to develop the device
- He had established telephone exchange (First one) in Connecticut. 

What did Graham Bell Spoke for the first time in the newly invented telephone?

After successful development of the device, Graham Bell had said "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." and Watson had responded. 


Antonio Meucci, the Italian American Inventor was the closest claim for the invention of the telephone but Alexander Graham Bell had been credited for the invention of the Telephone because he had developed a device which helped to communicate and hear properly between speaker and listener. And also Graham Bell was the first to receive patent for the development of the device. 

Who Invented the Telephone? Was it Graham Bell? Who Invented the Telephone? Was it Graham Bell? Reviewed by Pixel Stream on August 03, 2019 Rating: 5


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