Ten Insights into Italian Culture: #2 – Italian Innovation
Italians are credited with inventing one of the greatest––if not the greatest––communication tool of modern history: the telephone; that little, constantly shrinking, device that has revolutionized the way in which people all over the world get in touch with each other. Until recently, the invention of the telephone has been unfairly attributed to Alexander Graham Bell. However, Bell only just happened to patent it first, and in fact, Antonio Meucci, a Florentine immigrant to the United States who first thought up the idea but did not manage to get his patent application approved in time due to bureaucracy and other administrative obstacles, is the true inventor. In due atonement, the U.S. parliament in early 2000 wrote a letter of apology to the Italian government, acknowledging that the true inventor of the telephone was indeed Meucci.
Besides Meucci, other great Italian innovators include artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, physicist and inventor of the electric battery Alessandro Volta, and physicist and wireless communication innovator Guglielmo Marconi. A broader sample and full list are available if you wish to learn more.