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This Week in History

This Week In History

A new story every Monday with quiz

10 March 1876

Bell "Invents" The Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell claims to have invented the telephone, but did he?

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first call on an electromagnetic telephone he had built, and went on to make a fortune after claiming his telephone was an original invention. Evidence now suggests, however, that Italian inventor Antonio Meucci had already invented the electromagnetic telephone in 1871. Meucci couldn't find the money to develop his invention though, and it was soon forgotten after Bell announced his own "invention". In 2001 the U.S. Congress passed a resolution recognizing "the contributions of Antonio Meucci in the invention of the telephone".

invent (verb): design and create something completely new
electromagnetic (adjective): relating to electric currents and magnetic fields
fortune (noun): a lot of money
claim (verb): state or say that something is true, often without evidence
resolution (noun): a formal expression of opinion or intention
contribution (noun): the part someone plays in making something happen
Italian-born Antonio Meucci, seen by many as the real inventor of the telephone
Italian-born Antonio Meucci (1808-1889), is considered by many to be the real inventor of the telephone.

Quick Quiz:

Electromagnetic telephones were built and tested in the 1870's by

  1. Alexander Graham Bell
  2. Antonio Meucci
  3. Alexander Graham Bell and Antonio Meucci

Evidence now suggests that the first electromagnetic telephone was invented by

  1. Alexander Graham Bell
  2. Antonio Meucci
  3. Thomas Edison

If somebody "claims" that something is true, it means that

  1. it's definitley true
  2. it's definitely not true
  3. it could be true

Guide for Teachers
How to use This Week in History in your classes

Researched and written for EnglishClub by Matt Errey

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