My understanding (from the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell) is that Meucci's early demonstrations used the string-and-cup method to transmit sound that we all played with as kids.
Meucci submitted a patent moments after Bell, but his patent was determined to be unworkable and he submitted no working model, so it was rejected. It is only -after- seeing Bell's patent that Meucci's attorney tried to claim that Meucci really meant to include all the same concepts in his patent.
In my mind, the modern myth is that Meucci had any kind of workable telephone before seeing Bell's patent.
I agree with you Charles. Invention is never a one man show, but its usually know by a name who banged the most. I am sure wireless is just not invention of sir Bose and Marconi, there are lot more people whose thought and effort are behind it. Cannot mention everyone's name. CDMA is associated to name Qualcomm, however they jsut commercialized it in cell phone industry.
Mythology comes in all forms (culture, national, corporate). My favorite is corporate mythology (e.g. many of Thomas Edison's inventions that were really made by one of his employees or the mythology regarding Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I have seen this in action on multiple occasions in small companies and large (e.g. when a new CEO takes over and begins to de-emphasize the original inventor/founder and begins to "play up" his/her role). It is amazing how blatant it can be in some circumstances. These days, I take all corporate mythology for just what it is... myth that fills some need to communicate direction, mission, or ego.
Ah, what what would have happened if the first inventor have patented the rolling logs? Would we have arrived to the wheel? Or would we be rolling over logs and paying royalties? i.e. is the actual patent system helping development or stopping it?
My opinion: it is cumbersome, and it only defends the bigger fishes. They block a way, or technology, to solve a problem, and even if you came out with a improvement, you will have to go to court to defend your idea, sell your house to pay the layers, and ultimately lose because the opponent is big company residing in the Unites States. As a result, Apple, IBM and a couple more owns most of the possible ways to solve a problem, and they block all the avenues.
Bravo to the open source guys, who have found a way out of the system. Proof is the excellent Ubuntu, best OS here/now.
Dear Mr. Acharya:
I admire the work Mr.Bose did, and I knew that Popov and Tesla were able to present their "radio" inventions ahead of Marconi. In our world, the enterpreneur wins, and this is why Marconi earned most.
Gronk observed that mammoth carcasses were easier to transport when placed on rolling logs.
Blonk discovered that trimming those logs into a more perfectly round shape reduced the pushing effort even more.
Zironk fastened the logs to the platform.
Donk discovered that trimming the log into a thin axle shape reduced friction on the leather mounting straps to the cart.
Eventually these early engineers' accumulation of knowledge invented what we now know as the wheel.
Any patents on the wheel?