Antonio Meucci

From Academic Kids

Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci, (born 13 April 1808, died 18 October 1896) was an Italian inventor; he is credited as the inventor of the telephone. In June 2002, Meucci was officially credited by the United States House of Representatives with the invention of the telephone, instead of Alexander Graham Bell.



Meucci was born in San Frediano, a borough of Florence. He studied chemical and mechanical engineering at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts and later worked in theatres as a stage technician. He married Ester Mochi, a costume designer, on 7 August 1834. He was alleged to be part of a conspiracy involving the Italian unification movement in 1833-1834, and was imprisoned for three months.

In October 1835, Meucci and his wife left Florence, never to return. They emigrated to the Americas, stopping first in Cuba, where Meucci accepted a job at Gran Teatro de Tacòn in Havana.

In 1850, Meucci and his wife immigrated to the United States, settling in the Clifton area of Staten Island, New York, where he lived for the remainder of his life.

Meucci constructed a form of telephone around 1854 as a way to connect his second-floor bedroom to his basement laboratory, as his wife was an invalid suffering from rheumatism. Before then he had constructed a kind of pipe-telephone (that transported sound through a pipe) as a way to communicate between the stage and control room at the theatre.

Though his assets had been substantial, they were quickly used up in the United States. Not only was Meucci helping his countrymen to reach America, but there was also an expensive accident in one of his laboratories. His private finances dwindled so that he soon had to live on public funds and by depending on his friends. It has also been said that his wife sold some of his inventions, including the telephone, to raise cash.


Besides electric voice transferral, he invented and patented many devices, based on chemical and mechanical processes.


For more than one century, everywhere but in Italy, Bell has been considered the inventor of the telephone. Meucci was recognised as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States House of Representatives, in House Resolution 269, dated 11 June 2002. The Parliament of Canada retaliated by passing a bill recognising Canadian immigrant Alexander Graham Bell as the only inventor of the telephone.

See also

Further Reading

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