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Fascinating facts about  Elisha Gray
inventor of the Telautograph  in 1888.

Elisha Gray
AT A GLANCE:
Elisha Gray worked as a blacksmith, a boat-builder,and a carpenter before starting a small concern to make telegraphic equipment of his own invention. His little business eventually became the Western Electric Co., and Gray's some 70 patents included one for a multiplex telegraph. He claimed to have invented the telephone in the 1870s, but lost the patent rights to Alexander Graham Bell in a case eventually decided in the U.S. Supreme Court.
THE STORY
RELATED INFO
BOOKS
VIDEOS
WEB SITES
Inventor: Elisha Gray
Portrait of Elisha Gray derived from public domain
Criteria: First to invent. First to patent. First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: August 2, 1835 in Barnesville, Ohio
Death: January 21, 1901 in Newtonville, Massachusetts
Nationality: American
Invention: telephone
Early telephone photo courtesy www.att.com
Function: noun / tel·e·phone
Definition: An instrument which converts sound, specifically the human voice, to electrical impulses of various frequencies and then back to a tone that sounds like the original voice.t
Patent(s): 175,971 (US) issued April 11, 1876 filed January 8, 1876
166,094 (US) issued July 27, 1875 filed June 28, 1875
Milestones:
CAPS: Gray, Elisha Gray, Alexander Graham Bell,
ARY,  telephone, teleautograph, telegraph.
SIP, history, biography, inventor, invention, story, facts.
Story:
The same day that Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for his version of the telephone, Elisha Gray applied for a caveat announcing his intention to file a claim for a patent for the same invention within three months.On the basis of its earlier filing time -- a mere few hours -- and on the subtle distinctions between a caveat and an actual patent application, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Bell, not Gray, the patent for the telephone.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
The Entrepreneur    from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Telephone   from The Great Idea Finder
Alexander Graham Bell, Invenotr Profile   from The Great Idea Finder
Communication History   from The Great Idea Finder  

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
100 Inventions That Shaped World History
by Bill Yenne, Morton, Dr. Grosser (Editor) / Paperback - 112 pages (1983)
/ Bluewood Books 
This book contains inventions from all around the world from microchips to fire. This is a really good book if you are going to do research on inventions.

The Telephone Patent Conspiracy of 1876: Elisha Gray-Alexander Bell Controversy and Its  Players
by A. Edward Evenson / Paperback: 259 pages / McFarland & Company; (November 1, 2000)
To appreciate the history of technological invention it's important to understand society and the scientific community at the time the inventors lived, as well as the political and industrial forces.
The Gray Matter : The Forgotten Story of the Telephone
by Burton H. Baker / Paperback: 299 pages / Telepress; (January 5, 2001)
For more than 125 years, Alexander Graham Bell has been named the inventor. Now my story tells how another inventor, Elisha Gray, taught Bell how to amend his patent application and how to make the first speaking telephone.
The Telephone : Turning Point Inventions
by Sarah Gearhart / School & Library Binding - 80 pages (September 1999) / Atheneum
The telephone revolutionized long-distance communication by allowing people to speak with each other quickly, clearly, and affordably. Today, you can send and receive information from virtually anywhere using a wireless telephone, faxes, or E-mail, thanks to Bell's invention of the telephone.
The Telephone and Its Several Inventors : A History
by Lewis Coe / Hardcover (June 1995) / McFarland & Company
On the same day that Bell filed his patent application, a caveat (a preliminary patent document) was filed by Elisha Gray. This coincidence sparked the first of many debates over whether Bell was the true inventor of the telephone.

ON THE SCREEN:
The Telephone
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / Less than $25.00 / Also VHS
Undeniably essential to modern life, the telephone is the most important, influential, and effective communication tool ever developed. Exploring how one man's speaking device has grown into the technological web that links humankind, this thrilling program also revisits the race between Bell and rival Elisha Gray—who was building a similar design but ultimately filed the history-changing patent just two hours after Bell.


ON THE WEB:

American Experience, PBS series
The history of the telephone will never be fully written...Note from Gray found after his death. .
(URL: www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/telephone/peopleevents/pande02.html)
Oberlin College
In 1872, Gray founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company, parent firm of the present Western Electric Company. Two years later he retired to continue independent research and invention and to teach at Oberlin College.
(URL: www.oberlin.edu/external/EOG/OYTT-images/ElishaGray.html)
The Inventors: Gray and Bell
Bell's patent, U.S. Number 174,465, has been called the most valuable ever issued.
(URL: www.privateline.com/TelephoneHistoryA/TeleHistoryA.htm)
Competition over the Harmonic Multiple Telegraph
Initially, both Bell and Elisha Gray focused on harmonic telegraphy: the idea of using multiple tones, singly or in combination, to send multiple messages down the same wire.
(URL: repo-nt.tcc.virginia.edu/book/chap3/chapter3sec4.html)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition
He patented many electrical devices, most of them having to do with the telegraph. His telautograph (1888) for transmitting handwriting and line drawing was widely used. POP-UP ADS.
(URL: www.bartleby.com/65/gr/Gray-Eli.html)
 

Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised October 10, 2006.
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