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The First Phone Call Was 133 Years Ago

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the come-here-mister-watson dept.

Communications 196

magacious writes "March 10 is the 133rd anniversary of the first telephone call. It occurred between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson back on this day in 1876. But there is some debate about whether Bell is actually the rightful owner of the crown for such invention. Having worked on the idea of transmitting speech using electricity for some time, Bell filed his patent on 14 February 1876, either just before or just after his main rival for the title of inventor of the telephone, Elisha Gray, filed his own. Bell won the patent and Gray died in obscurity."

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196 comments

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the message: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147535)

first!!

Re:the message: (2, Funny)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147583)

The reply: I, for one, welcome my now slightly distant overlord

Today's hard-earned entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148407)

Someone making fun of TWSS [youtube.com] ...

Re:the message: (3, Informative)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147643)

Watson, come here. I need you.

Re:the message: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147687)

Yay for Doctor Who!

D-oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147693)

Shoulda read TFA first, what a ... Anyhow, does anyone know about Roentgen and Bucky? I heard that something similar went down on the priority, but it's a little too obscure.

Re:the message: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148049)

That's Mr. Watson to you, ya little whippersnapper!

Re:the message: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148069)

Wait. Are you trying to tell us that Alexander Graham Bell was also secretly Sherlock Holmes?!?

Re:the message: (4, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148267)

Watson, come here. I need you.

"Oh Mr. Bell, you have no idea how long I've been waiting to hear you say that!"

Re:the message: (4, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148667)

No, I'm sure it was:

"This is the second notice that the factory warranty may be expiring on your car!....."

Re:the message: (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148103)

But I WAS FIRST POST!

Sincerely,

Elisha Gray

Re:the message: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148645)

If Elisha Gray invented it first, then who was phone?

Antonio Meucci (5, Informative)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147551)

was using his electromagnetic telephone [wikipedia.org] to talk to his wife from his basement lab to their second-floor bedroom in 1856.

Re:Antonio Meucci (5, Informative)

Kirys (662749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147663)

Meucci was the real owner of the idea of the phone. But he was almost forgotten, only recently it received some credits.

Re:Antonio Meucci (1)

gabrielex (664157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147755)

Exactly! Antonio Meucci was the real owner of the idea and the controversy was solved giving him his own rights, but lot of people don't know about this.

Re:Antonio Meucci (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148043)

"In 2002 the U. S. House of Representatives passed a bill recognizing Meucci's accomplishment and stating that "if Meucci had been able to pay the $10 fee to maintain the caveat after 1874, no patent could have been issued to Bell."

From
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meucci

Re:Antonio Meucci (4, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148345)

Meucci should have called ahead to let them know he was on his way. ;)

Re:Antonio Meucci (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148151)

H. Res. 269
In the House of Representatives, U.S.,
June 11, 2002.
Whereas Antonio Meucci, the great Italian inventor, had a career that was both extraordinary and tragic;
Whereas, upon immigrating to New York, Meucci continued to work with ceaseless vigor on a project he had begun in Havana, Cuba, an invention he later called the `teletrofono', involving electronic communications;
Whereas Meucci set up a rudimentary communications link in his Staten Island home that connected the basement with the first floor, and later, when his wife began to suffer from crippling arthritis, he created a permanent link between his lab and his wife's second floor bedroom;
Whereas, having exhausted most of his life's savings in pursuing his work, Meucci was unable to commercialize his invention, though he demonstrated his invention in 1860 and had a description of it published in New York's Italian language newspaper;
Whereas Meucci never learned English well enough to navigate the complex American business community;
Whereas Meucci was unable to raise sufficient funds to pay his way through the patent application process, and thus had to settle for a caveat, a one year renewable notice of an impending patent, which was first filed on December 28, 1871;
Whereas Meucci later learned that the Western Union affiliate laboratory reportedly lost his working models, and Meucci, who at this point was living on public assistance, was unable to renew the caveat after 1874;
Whereas 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;
Whereas 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;
Whereas Meucci died in October 1889, the Bell patent expired in January 1893, and the case was discontinued as moot without ever reaching the underlying issue of the true inventor of the telephone entitled to the patent; and
Whereas if Meucci had been able to pay the $10 fee to maintain the caveat after 1874, no patent could have been issued to Bell:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the life and achievements of Antonio Meucci should be recognized, and his work in the invention of the telephone should be acknowledged.
Attest:
Clerk.

Re:Antonio Meucci (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148351)

...or 'top ups' as we call them in the UK

Re:Antonio Meucci (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148321)

Well... american technology history rewriting, according to the president of the USA america even invented the automobile. I am glad Daimler and Benz are dead already and have been for a long time :-)
I am not even sure if Edison really was the inventor of the lightbulb afair a russian was first but did not patent it!

Re:Antonio Meucci (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148347)

Graham bell was my grandfather!!!!

Re:Antonio Meucci (2, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148785)

Not that it matters much, but Congress passed a resolution on June 11th, 2002, recognising him as the inventor of the telephone.

Also, people should know that Meucci sent his patent designs to the lab where Bell worked. And they went "missing".

There's a whole shady side to that story which is not really acknowledged in the official history.

Gray died in obscurity (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147555)

Of course, the light bulb was only invented in 1879.

Re:Gray died in obscurity (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148141)

And not by Edison, who just got the patent...

Re:Gray died in obscurity (3, Insightful)

tsjaikdus (940791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148603)

Edison created something that could actually be used. That is including the electrical grid, switches, powermeters, bulb fitting and so on that was all needed to make the bulb glow. All this stuff didn't really exist back then. And a lot of new inventions that came out of that were indeed patented.

I think the patent system is put to good use in this case. If it were for Swan or some other introvert nerd, we would still be reading by candlelight.

Re:Gray died in obscurity (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148607)

And not by Edison, who just got the patent...

Edison was one of the original patent/FUD trolls. A lot of people seem to think those tactics are new but in reality businesses have been engaging in them for a long time. Edison even went so far as to electrocute animals (including an elephant) during the "war of the currents" to try and scare people away from a competing product. He also tried to change the term from "electrocuted" to "Westinghoused".

Re:Gray died in obscurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148661)

not that the phone patent wasn't obvious. it's like a telegraph, but with microphones and speakers. somebody invented the microphone, somebody invented the speakers. they patented the use of them... in realtime??

Patent sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147559)

So one more reason to get rid of patent?

Re:Patent sucks (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147647)

Er.. no. Patents are good. It's only *some* patents that aren't, like software patents, and generally all obvious patents granted by shitty examiners.

The fact that Bell was able to patent his invention means that (1) he was able to profit from it, and (2) his invention was fully disclosed and available to the rest of humanity.

In short, patents are a good thing. Don't mindlessly follow the Slashdot groupthink please...

Re:Patent sucks (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147743)

The fact that Bell was able to patent his invention means that (1) he was able to profit from it, and (2) his invention was fully disclosed and available to the rest of humanity.

But as the summary implies and history records the patent application in this case was a race to the patent office. Several people had developed working telephones at that point.

So while it is good that Bell benefited from this invention it is bad that other inventors did not.

Re:Patent sucks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147799)

> So while it is good that Bell benefited from this invention it is bad that other inventors did not.

There was no need for him to profit, given the large amount of people inventing the concept, the idea was not non-obvious, and as such would have become public knowledge in the short term anyway.
Thus the patent, particularly since it was wrong anyway, only served to add cost and hinder innovation. It was of advantage only for Mr. Bell and of a disadvantage to all of society, or in other words the exact opposite of what patents were supposed to be.

Re:Patent sucks (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148481)

Not exactly.
I know a friend who is an inventor.
His thinking is very different and his inventions are also quite different - and which I feel are very good for the society.

Now, he is pursuing his inventions just because of the concept of patent. He is not at all a businessman - he is extremely shy and does not speak to anyone. So if concept of patents are not there, he would not even pursue his inventions because he is sure to lose out in the game.

Even now, somebody might make a fool of him, but atleast he has the hope to make money using his inventions. Such people would lose out - and thereby the society - if patents are removed.

Re:Patent sucks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148707)

You completely missed the points _of this case_:
1) Bell was not the only one, so even among the _inventors_ the majority lost _due to patents_
2) Since there were others doing the same thing there would have been others doing the invention anyway.

So if your friend is doing something unique, the original idea of patents still applies and my post says nothing against them.
If however your friend does the same kind of stuff another thousand to hundred-thousand people are doing at the same time, then honestly it would probably be better for all including him if he stopped, or at least he would know for sure he could actually make use of his invention in the end and wouldn't have to pay royalties just because someone else was a minute faster.
That was the point of my post, and I think you missed it completely.

Re:Patent sucks (1)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147863)

I don't think that's really the the point. The patent system isn't about making inventors money, its about providing them a monetary incentive for invention. As long as the potential for profit is there to be chased it doesn't really matter who gets it (within reason of course).

Re:Patent sucks (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147923)

How about just give them money then? You don't have to give them a monopoly.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1156061&cid=27145551 [slashdot.org]

Re:Patent sucks (1)

SuperAndy (1414157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148051)

And where does this money come from? Certainly not from a sense of entrepreneurship.

Re:Patent sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148415)

If the reason for granting patents is to generate innovation for the betterment of society, the money will come from the betterment of society.

We will be more wealthy as a society because of the innovation. Our businesses will have to compete to stay ahead, but every worthwhile invention will receive funding.

Of course, there's no reason for the patent office to grant patents so quickly anymore. And the focus on innovation will move to supplying the item to market, rather than simply controlling a monopoly.

Re:Patent sucks (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148465)

Steven Landsburg had an idea I liked to solve that.

It works on the theory that the entire value of a patent comes from the extra money you will be able to charge so it essentially comes from all of society.

What you do is instead have government buy the patent at a fair market price and make the results public domain.

Since society saves the money on the purchasing part, the tax dollars are a wash, and as an added benefit to society at large the idea is truly open to be built upon. Also, it avoids the potential for getting burned with a submarine patent.

As for determining a fair market price, this is done with a public auction where all interested parties can blind bid for the rights, with the government purchasing at the second highest bidders bid only 3/4's or 9/10's of the time. The rest of the time, the highest bidder gets to buy the invention.

This allows for there to be private interests to help determine what a fair price is for the invention, and still keeps the majority of patents open for all.

Re:Patent sucks (1)

drewvr6 (1400341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148739)

I think because it keeps wealthy people from dominating the arena. If someone creates a product or process and it is free to be duplicated by anyone, people with more capital will always be able to run those people out of business. By providing rights to production you allow those people who developed the idea to get some head start on building on their idea.

Re:Patent sucks (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147967)

In many cases the reality is that new things were invented by many people working in parallel and sharing the use of public knowledge. It might be better if patents recognise this by being granted to multiple people.

Re:Patent sucks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148621)

As long as the potential for profit is there to be chased it doesn't really matter who gets it (within reason of course).

It matters a lot. Different inventors have different abilities to turn the idea monopolised by a patent into reality.

Re:Patent sucks (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148375)

But as the summary implies and history records the patent application in this case was a race to the patent office. Several people had developed working telephones at that point.

Why a race to the patent office? If working telephones already were developed he could have called!

Re:Patent sucks (1)

kauttapiste (633236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148379)

What you're implying is that there is no way that two scientist could invent the same invention simultaneously, without one copying the other. (When in fact this has happened numerous times) Why is it in your opinion that the other scientist should be unable to profit from his invention?

Such advances! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147567)

How amazing, dont you think? Can you believe how far we'v...[NO CARRIER]

Re:Such advances! (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147615)

More like "can you hear me? CAN YOU HEAR ME? HELLO?? *beep*beep*beep* Ah f**ing Verizon!"

Calling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147571)

Hello, hello.... anyone there?

NO CARRIER :)

Research (4, Informative)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147577)

Some of the latest research into Bells own lab notes is showing that he saw Grays pre patent applications for a liquid based microphone before hand. In fact what gave it away was his (Bells) notes are an exact copy of Grays patent that and the fact Bell never even looked at this type of configuration until he went to Washington then changed his research completely.

Re:Research (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148573)

Yup. Bell's "invention" was completely based on other people's ideas.

Just like how edison stole most of his "ideas" from Tesla.

Patents dont encourage innovation. The only make the first person to file it rich. Which discourages the sharing of ideas and information for fear that some rich jerk like edison or Bell will come along and patent your idea first. There are documented cases all throughout american and european history that Patents hampered scientific innovation and industrial progress.

Re:Research (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148885)

Patents dont encourage innovation. The only make the first person to file it rich. Which discourages the sharing of ideas and information for fear that some rich jerk like edison or Bell will come along and patent your idea first.

You're completely contradicting yourself. Ones of the major *points* of patents is to encourage sharing of ideas. Without patents, everyone would hoard their ideas, because there would be no legal protection -- the second any rich person heard your idea, they would start mass-producing it, leaving you out in the cold.

The example here shows what happens when you share without a patent -- someone beats you to the patent office! But note that once the small investor gets there, he can share all he wants with legal protection.

Now this is the cue for anti-patent people to start listing a litany of cases where patents didn't protect some little guy. But that doesn't change the millions of cases where it does, that doesn't get the publicity.

Progressing By Leaps And Bounds (1)

Velska1 (1435341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147599)

To hearing "the call to the number you have requested can not be completed at this time" or "the number you have dialed is out of network or turned off".

133 (4, Insightful)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147605)

is such an important number that it's worth a news story by its own

Re:133 (4, Funny)

lilo_booter (649045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147677)

Indeed - apparently no one died that year - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/133 [wikipedia.org]

Re:133 (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147761)

So is 911, 411, and 1-900!

Re:133 (2, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147901)

Errr not ver 1337 are you? Now clearly the 1337 anniversary will be more significant but after all this is the telephone therefore 133 Telephone anniversary or 133t to give it its correct name is a highly significant geek anniversary.

Can't believe this wasn't obvious.

Re:133 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148561)

1337 was when the Hundred Years War started. Now that's important!

Re:133 (5, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148245)

is such an important number that it's worth a news story by its own

But of course! It's a happy octagonal Harshad integer, and a Blum semiprime. We should read news stories about it every day!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/133_(number) [wikipedia.org]

Re:133 (1)

put_the_cat_out (961909) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148421)

Just wait until next year and 134

Re:133 (0, Redundant)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148523)

It is indeed, and it got me thinking are there any other important 133rd anniversaries coming up we should know about?

and the second call (5, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147633)

started "can I speak to Mr Alexander Bell" .... Hello Mr. Bell, how are you today. I wonder if you would take a few minutes to answer some questions ... hangs up in disgust

Re:and the second call (1)

KrimZon (912441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148393)

*Undoing a wrong number in the moderation process*

Re:and the second call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148503)

I vaant to ask you a bunch of questions, and I vaant to have them answered immediately.

Bell! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147669)

Bell was a fucking faggot for not making encryption part of his specification.

Gray was a professional inventor (2, Interesting)

Skurge357 (1322191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147745)

If I remember correctly, Elisha Gray's patent application for this was one of several that he submitted that day, only a few hours after Bell's went in.

Re:Gray was a professional inventor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148001)

Actually, it was a few hours before, but the patent examiner owed money to Bell's lawyer.

Re:Gray was a professional inventor (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148269)

It's just as well. How are you supposed to answer the phone when the gray rings?

Re:Gray was a professional inventor (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148741)

Not to mention he was far from obscure. Take a look at his Wikipedia entry; the man was a prolific and important inventor.

co34 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147779)

to the crowd in he4d spinning Right now. I tried, aapeared...saying

Significant aniversaries (0, Redundant)

psb777 (224219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147793)

Please remind us next year again, as 134 is a highly significant number for me.

Re:Significant aniversaries (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147857)

And we'll all have to wait a year, in breathless anticipation, to find out why it's such a significant number for you.

How will we ever survive?

Re:Significant aniversaries (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148133)

in breathless anticipation,

Not another reference to asthma ?

Progress and inventions (1)

little1973 (467075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147853)

This is a classic example why patents are bad. When the time is ripe for a technology to emerge it will emerge in several people's minds and not just in a lone genius' mind. This is called progress and mere progress should not be patented. There are no inventions but there is progress.

At the time patent duration was shorter (4, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148153)

At the time patent duration was shorter, per the patent act of 1790, and was decided by a board, not to exceed 14 years. In addition, it wasrequested that you have a working prototype of your invention that you could demonstrate for the patent office for the purposes of the parent examination process. There were other hard requirements: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_Act_of_1790 [wikipedia.org] .

So it's a little disingenuous to claim this as an example of why patents are a bad thing.

-- Terry

The real reason Bell got the patent (3, Funny)

rollingcalf (605357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147861)

They gave it to him instead of others who developed a phone, because they thought history would prefer that somebody named "Bell" invented the telephone, like how Sir Thomas Crapper is credited with inventing the flush toilet even though he really didn't invent it.

Re:The real reason Bell got the patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148249)

Sort of like how Walter Dildo is credited with inventing the marital aid?

kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147891)

Anyone else suprised kdawson posted this article? Yeah, me neither. Starting reading, realized the article was crap (and even if it wasn't, what's so special about 133?), though, "who posted this crap?.. it couldn't be...yeah, kdawson figures".

Bell won the patent and Gray died in obscurity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147911)

Yeah, Gray sure died in obscurity but still manages to send out a press release every year to make us remember.

Some might say Gray is still with us.

133? (1)

aaron alderman (1136207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148023)

Call me again in five [wikipedia.org] years.

pah... (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148047)

When it's 3213 then it may be considered 'news for nerds'... otherwise it's just the aniversary of the phone...

Re:pah... (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148401)

When it's 1337 then it may be considered 'news for nerds'...

There, I corrected it for you!

Re:pah... (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148675)

no... no you didn't...

And Tomorrow.... (3, Funny)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148055)

And tomorrow marks the 133rd anniversary of the first telemarker.

Re:And Tomorrow.... (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148521)

And tomorrow marks the 133rd anniversary of the first telemarker.

A telemarker is someone who practices a particular form of skiing.
A telemarketer, perhaps?

Died in Obscurity?!! (3, Insightful)

krygny (473134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148085)

How could he have died in obscurity if we're discussing him today? I'm still trying to find out who, from the US, invented the automobile (according to Obama). Now, *THAT GUY* died in obscurity.

Re:Died in Obscurity?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148517)

...or he's really, really old by now.

Re:Died in Obscurity?!! (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148553)

How could he have died in obscurity if we're discussing him today? I'm still trying to find out who, from the US, invented the automobile (according to Obama). Now, *THAT GUY* died in obscurity.

His name was Uncle Benz and he invented the ricer.

Re:Died in Obscurity?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148767)

I think you misspelled George W. Bush.

world makets up 7-10% in just 2 days (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148101)

scary. opens the window for many who have lost nearly all, & are still paying attention (cheap enough) to recoup a few more pennies on the $.

why must the last of our dwindling dough be siphoned into the wall street of deceit betting pool, with short sellers, & folks from other countries, taking it all home at the end of the day?

as some things are clearly changing, other failed processes are being clung to as though our lives/well being depended on them. very misleading, as the total opposite is closer to the facts. the disproportionate allocation of assets has not changed... yet.

please do not be confused between 'religion' & being spiritual. taking care of each other is our purpose here. somehow that's become background noise to the greed/fear/ego based trappings of man'kind'.

what is special about 133? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148113)

I mean, if it were 128 years, sure, that would be newsworthy but what's special about 133 years?

Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148205)

Suprised this doesn't have a patent troll tag. Obviously that practiced started very soon.

Don't forget Philip Reis (3, Informative)

sapone (152094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148247)

...who also invented an early telephone [wikipedia.org] . In 1861!

Oblig. Fam. Guy (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148333)

Bell. Well, we did it Watson. What an afternoon. We finally perfected the first telephone.
Watson. Yeah, uh, hey listen, somebody called me today. Uh, whoever it was, said some very sexual things, very angry, sexual things.
Bell. Oh, really? Probably just some teenagers somewhere...

Re:Oblig. Fam. Guy (1)

destroyer661 (847607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148475)

Family Guy is anything but obligatory mate.

Re:Oblig. Fam. Guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148545)

Obligatory? Well, you, sir, are a festigio. See? I can make up words too.

Re:Oblig. Fam. Guy (1)

destroyer661 (847607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148683)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obligatory

;)

Actually, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148473)

Leonardo da Vinci built the first telephone. Unfortunately, it took somebody over 400 years to build another one, during which time poor Leonardo had nobody to talk to.

Of course, Leonardo being dead for the last 300+ of those years, it would have been a rather one-sided conversation anyway once Bell/Gray/wotsizname finally got connected.

Anybody Here Remember Rotary Dials? (3, Funny)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148507)

Yeah? Well the rest of you can GET OFF MY LAWN!

Re:Anybody Here Remember Rotary Dials? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148845)

I remember rotary dials...does that mean I can stay on your lawn?

Good old family history (2)

Photo_Nut (676334) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148647)

I like this story. See, I married into the family... Mr. Watson is my wife's great great grandfather. He left his family with an estate in New Hampshire which we go to every year and in this estate there are 2 telephones. An interesting family tradition in her branch of the family is to give the male children the middle name of Watson. Anyway, to place a call, you crank a generator which causes a bell to ring at the other end of the line, then the person at the other end of the line picks up and the call is connected.

Today we all have cell phones (and ironically, the cell phone reception isn't that great - verizon or AT&T - we brought an iPhone last summer to the estate, and it browsed the web painfully slowly - a 28K modem with AOL and all the ads would beat it), but how many people can say that they have talked on a phone made by hand by the inventor of the telephone in this day and age where cell phones can make video calls and store books and play video games and browse the web?

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