Who really invented the telephone and the radio?

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Many schoolchildren learn that the Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell ____________ (invent) the telephone in 1876. But the real inventor ____________ (Be) Antonio Meucci, a poor Italian American. He ____________ (share) a workshop with Bell in the 1860s, and ____________ (make) a ‘talking telegraph’ for his wife who ____________ (Be) ill in bed, so that she ____________ (can)call him when she wanted something. But Meucci never ____________ (take) his idea to the US Patent Office, because he ____________ (Be) too poor to pay the $250 that he ____________ (Need). Son on February 14th 1876 Alexander Graham Bell ____________ (Take) the invention to the Patent Office instead. Just two hours later another inventor, Elisha Gray ____________ (Arrive) with the same idea – too late!

At the time, nobody ____________ (Believe) that the telephone ____________ (Be) an important invention. Bell’s father-in-law, also a scientist, ____________ (Describe) the invention as ‘a beautiful toy’. And it ____________ (Be) 2002 before the US Congress ____________ (Decide) that Meucci ____________ (Be) the true inventor of the telephone!

But everyone knows that the Italian Marconi ____________ (Invent) the radio, right? Wrong. Actually, Guglielmo Marconi stole his great idea from Nikola Tesla. Tesla ____________ (Write) and article in 1893 and in it he ____________ (Describe) his important new invention – the radio.

But just two years later, Marconi ____________ (Take) the idea to the US Patent Office and soon ____________ (Begin) to sell it. In 1909 he even ____________ (Win) a Nobel Prize for his invention.

In 1943 Nikola Tesla ____________ (Die) in New York, a poor man. That year, the US Congress ____________ (Decide) that Nikola Tesla ____________ (Be) ‘the true father of the radio’.

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