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  • March 10: The telephone is 133 years old today. Call me.


Comments Mar 10, 2009 7:06 pm

It certainly is an interesting cultural phenomenon, but as a Hungarian, I can add that in MY school books, the inventor of the telephone was Tivadar Puskas--a Hungarian. I can't remember having learned any conspiracy theories about how Bell ended up with the credit for the invention, but in our nationalist folklore, it was always taken for granted that everything important in the world was invented by Hungarians, but it was always someone from an empire or superpower who got the credit for it, or who could afford to file the patent. (It is also true that patent offices did not exist in many of those countries until much later than in the US).

More seriously, I was wondering if, indeed, it is true that the origin of the word "hallo" would go back to the first person singular Hungarian word "hallom," which means "I can hear you," and is attributed to have been announced by Puskas. Seeás


Ildiko Melis

Bay Mills Community College, Brimley, MI

Reply to at 7:06 pm Mar 29, 2009 4:00 pm

What about Johann Philipp Reis then? You guessed it, I am German.


Wikipedia has it as follows:

Credit for inventing the electric telephone remains in dispute. Charles Bourseul, Antonio Meucci, Johann Philipp Reis, Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray, amongst others, have all been credited with the invention. The early history of the telephone is a confusing morass of claim and counterclaim, which was not clarified by the huge mass of lawsuits which hoped to resolve the patent claims of individuals. The Bell and Edison patents, however were forensically victorious and commercially decisive.

Reply to at 4:00 pm