Inventor of the Telephone.
Published by Bridge Apulia USA
Congress Resolution (H.RES. 692) recognizes Antonio Meucci as the true
inventor, but the Canadian House of Commons denies him his rightful
position in history.
In 1999, Bridge Apulia
published my article titled “Meucci,
Forgotten Italian Genius”. That essay was a tribute to this gifted
Italian inventor, but it was also a remonstration against the indifference
government had shown to the clear-cut corruption and plagiarism that
involved the handling of this case. The injustice imparted upon him had
deprived Meucci of his financial rights to the invention and, accordingly,
of the commercial development of the telephone. Most of all it had
deprived him of the rights to be known as the inventor of the telephone,
an honor which he clearly deserved.
Fortunately, an update on the subject was ultimately necessary.
Thanks to the submission by U.S. Representative Vito Fossella Jr., a
Republican from our very own
, a Resolution was passed by the U.S. Congress to acknowledge the works of
Meucci and his invention of the telephone. The Resolution contains
unambiguous historical references:
“…in March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell, who
conducted experiments in the same laboratory where Meucci’s materials
had been stored, was granted a patent and was thereafter credited with
inventing the telephone… on January 13, 1887, the Government of the
United States moved to annul the patent issued to Bell on the grounds of
fraud and misrepresentation, a case that the Supreme Court found viable
and remanded for trial…Meucci died in October 1889, the Bell patent
expired in January 1893, and the case was discontinued as moot”.
We therefore hail the Congress’ overdue decision to acknowledge
the facts, nothing but the facts. Frankly, further work needs to be done,
so that a similar resolution may get the sanction in the U.S. Senate. When
this will occur, the American textbooks will finally have to carry the
change that so many Italians have envisioned for so long: Antonio
Meucci is the true inventor of the telephone!
Meucci supporters should be jubilant of these developments, but
another cloud has darkened the sky. The Canadian House of Commons, as a
retort to the U.S. House Resolution 692, passed a motion to reiterate the
legitimate status of the claim to the invention of the telephone by
Alexander Graham Bell. The Canadian legislators declared that the U.S.
Resolution was "an expression of opinion that doesn't carry legal
History repeats itself. Confronted by the U.S. admission of
negligence toward this impoverished, but proud, Tuscan inventor, the best
the Canadian legislators could come up with was to put their blinders on,
stomp their feet and declare that they did not care what other people,
specially Americans, say. Facts don’t count? Documents don’t count?
What counts, then?
As previously declared, Meucci was a typical martyr of the
bureaucracy and of the power of money, but most of all, was a victim of
ignorance and bias. An injustice has been at least partially corrected.
Italians and all people that believe in justice should be pleased with the
outcome. The Canadian Government, though, by repeating the affront to
Meucci’s name and legacy, has reopened the wound and lessened the
favorable impact that the U.S. Congress Resolution should have on all of
us who seek justice for Meucci’s name. Italians from all over the world
’s government know what they think of this rash decision which has one
more time smeared Meucci’s memory.
Will Meucci’s name ever find for everyone the place in history
that it deserves? Let us all keep working at it.