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Elisha Gray
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (August 2, 1835-January 21, 1901)
    Born in Barnesville, Ohio
    Received patents for 70 inventions
    Independently invented the telephone (1876)
    He is best known for filing for a patent on the telephone two hours after Alexander Graham Bell.
    At the time he filed the patent, he had not built a working model of the phone.
    Although pro-Gray partisans melodramatically claim he was financially ruined by Bell, he was able to pledge $50,000 to Oberlin College (1880).
    A patent examiner admitted showing Gray’s application to Bell.
    When Bell first successfully transmitted speech over a telephone, it was using a model based on the description in Gray’s patent application.
    He later said, ‘I showed Bell how to make the telephone. He could not mistake it because the drawings were explicit, as well as the specifications.’
    The first edition of ‘The Speaking Telephone, The Talking Phonograph and Other Novelties’ (1878) by George Prescott had a detailed account of Gray’s contributions to the telephone./n/Bell hired Prescott and ensured that later editions contained no mention of Gray.

Credit: C. Fishel

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