[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 269 Engrossed in House (EH)]

                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                                                         June 11, 2002.
Whereas Antonio Meucci, the great Italian inventor, had a career that was both 
        extraordinary and tragic;
Whereas, upon immigrating to New York, Meucci continued to work with ceaseless 
        vigor on a project he had begun in Havana, Cuba, an invention he later 
        called the ``teletrofono'', involving electronic communications;
Whereas Meucci set up a rudimentary communications link in his Staten Island 
        home that connected the basement with the first floor, and later, when 
        his wife began to suffer from crippling arthritis, he created a 
        permanent link between his lab and his wife's second floor bedroom;
Whereas, having exhausted most of his life's savings in pursuing his work, 
        Meucci was unable to commercialize his invention, though he demonstrated 
        his invention in 1860 and had a description of it published in New 
        York's Italian language newspaper;
Whereas Meucci never learned English well enough to navigate the complex 
        American business community;
Whereas Meucci was unable to raise sufficient funds to pay his way through the 
        patent application process, and thus had to settle for a caveat, a one 
        year renewable notice of an impending patent, which was first filed on 
        December 28, 1871;
Whereas Meucci later learned that the Western Union affiliate laboratory 
        reportedly lost his working models, and Meucci, who at this point was 
        living on public assistance, was unable to renew the caveat after 1874;
Whereas in March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell, who conducted experiments in the 
        same laboratory where Meucci's materials had been stored, was granted a 
        patent and was thereafter credited with inventing the telephone;
Whereas on January 13, 1887, the Government of the United States moved to annul 
        the patent issued to Bell on the grounds of fraud and misrepresentation, 
        a case that the Supreme Court found viable and remanded for trial;
Whereas Meucci died in October 1889, the Bell patent expired in January 1893, 
        and the case was discontinued as moot without ever reaching the 
        underlying issue of the true inventor of the telephone entitled to the 
        patent; and
Whereas if Meucci had been able to pay the $10 fee to maintain the caveat after 
        1874, no patent could have been issued to Bell: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the life 
and achievements of Antonio Meucci should be recognized, and his work in the 
invention of the telephone should be acknowledged.