sign in for free to It's Tuscany, discover the beautiful territories of Tuscany, its products and its typical
Private entity
 Subscribe to the newsletter to receive offers on products and news from the territories
By submitting this form you agree to the processing of the personal data above, for the function of the requested service, the data will be protected according to the Decree n 196 of 30 June 2003 Legislative Decree No. 196 of 30/06/2003
 * By ticking the box you agree to  Terms and coditions  of It's Tuscany



The Tuscans who have made history: Antonio Meucci

10 things you may don't know about the inventor of the phone

The story of Antonio Meucci could very well be the script of a successful film.

We will tell about his beginnings as a technician at the Teatro Della Pergola in Florence and later at the Tacon Theatre in Havana, until he arrived in the United States, where he developed the invention that would forever change the way we communicate: the phone... Not to mention the story of your stolen patent.

I mean, get comfortable.


Do you know Antonio Meucci's story?

10 curiosities and facts about the Tuscan inventor who created the phone

  • Antonio Meucci was born in Florence on April 13, 1808,in the San Frediano district.

  • In 1821, at the age of thirteen, he was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence where he studied, among other subjects, Physics and Mechanics.

  • At the Teatro Della Pergola meets the love of his life, Ester Mochi,costume designer. Their relationship, the physical distance that will appear at some point in their romance, will be the missing gears that will set Meucci's idea in motion.

  • Still very young, the two leave Florence in search of fortune in Cuba: they both work at the Grande Tacon Theatre, at the time among the most famous theatres in the world.

  • However, many friends advise him to move to New York, to make the most of his wits.  In 1850, Mr and Mrs Meucci settled on Staten Island, where they bought a cottage (now converted into the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum)...Garibaldi?

  • Yes, you read that right. Garibaldi. He, too, was in New York at the time and was hosted by Meuccbetween 1850 and 1853. In his memoirs we read: "Antonio decided to establish a candle factory and offered to help him in his factory. I worked for a few months with Meucci, who did not treated me as an ordinary worker, but as one of the family, with great lovingness."

  • In 1854 Esther was bedridden due to a serious illness,which followed her until her death. The Tuscan inventor, in order to communicate with her,immobilized on the second floor of their cottage, makes a mechanical connection between the bedroom and the cellar (where his workshop was located).

The "telettrophone" (revised version of a project that Meucci had already semi-realized when he was in Cuba) was born.

  • In 1871,due to a maritime accident, Meucci remained infirm for many months:this did not stop him in trying to make his invention operational.

  • In fact, also in 1871,Meucci patented his device. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, it is a temporary patent, to be renewed every year.

  • A non-renewal allowed Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 to apply for a phone similar to his (Meucci always suspected that Bell had seen the drawings of the telephony and copied them; the Bell occasion had actually had it).

  • It was not until 1887 that Meucci was granted the authorship of the invention of the mechanical telephone, attributing to Bell that of the electric telephone.

This thing did not prevent Antonio unfortunately from dying alone,Esther was already dead, and full of debts.

The story of Antonio Meucci, who has the contours of yellow and drama, has a bittersweet ending. In 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives asked to recognize his work and contribution to the birth of the telephone, but did not officially give him the authorship of the invention.

Many Italian encyclopedias credit Meucci as the inventor of the phone, although unfortunately in the rest of the world often he is not recognized this merit.


Black and white cover photo: