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Innovation of the Telephone

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Innovation of the Telephone

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Technological innovations have consistently answered the greatest desires of mankind; innovations have helped realize longtime dreams of flight and travel beneath the waves of the ocean. But others have required significant push and the creation of their own market, yet have the capability to be enormously successful, and the organizations evolved around their creation have grown in step with their public acceptance. Specifically, nobody expressed a desire to ?call up someone? and speak over long distances using the human voice before the service became available. The nineteenth century innovation of the telephone revolutionized the entire world, and its fascinating story is one of contrasts. It is a story of innovation by both precise determination and by good fortune, and evolved from interests in telegraphy, acoustics and the physiology of human speech. Often described as ?the most valuable patent in history,? the initial patent supporting the telephone was not even filed as a telephone patent ? and the patenting process itself beheld feats of politics and trickery. Subsequent patents defined the functionality of what we really think of as ?the phone.? Many men made major contributions to the field, and the innovation, but ultimately the man whom the world knows as the inventor ostensibly was so. Like many evolutions, the path of the telephone?s innovation arose out of different initial intents on the part of its financial backers and technical inventors, but became one of the most widespread and profitable creations in history.

For the individual inventor, the second half of the nineteenth century could be called a golden age. Patent law, the power behind which was established in the U.S. Constitution, protected the original inventor against infringement from competitors, and the court system upheld the majority of cases related to such matters on behalf of the inventor. Incidentally, the telephone patent was repeatedly upheld under numerous challenges ?...