You may have studied at school that Alexander Graham Bell was the inventor of the telephone. But this was not exactly true.
The true inventor of the telephone was an Italian-American called Antonio Meucci. In 1854 Meucci built the first telephone to communicate some rooms of his house, beacuse his wife suffered from rheumatism. In 1860 he presented his invention in New York, but he didn´t have enough money to pay the patent expenses.
He called his invention "Telettrofono". Some years later he had an accident and his wife had to sell many of his prototypes in a pawnshop. Once recovered, Meucci tried to redeem his prototype from the pawnshop, but it had been sold to an unidentified young man. Meucci worked hard to rebuild his telephone and get money enough to pay the patent, but he couldn´t pay a definitive patent. In 1874 he sent his material and an explanation of his invention to the Western Union Telegraph Company, but he couldn´t get a meeting with the executives of the company. As he didn´t receive any answer from the company, he decided to ask for his invention to be returned, but they told him that the telephone had been lost. Two years later,
Alexander Graham Bell, who shared a laboratory with Meucci at the Western Union, registered the patent of the telephone with his name and became very rich and famous. Bell apparently stole Meucci´s invention. Meucci went to the court and tried to be recognized as the real inventor of the telephone, but he died before the trial finished. In 2002 the Congress of the USA definitively recognized Meucci as the true inventor of the telephone.