The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) has officially recognized fellow Mercurian Basilio Catania of Turin, Italy, for his research documenting Italian inventor Antonio Meucci’s contributions to the development of the telephone. Catania received the award at an October 12, 2002, banquet ceremony in Rome. Sons of Italy President Robert Messa presented a certificate of recognition to Catania for his 12 years of telecommunications research.
Catania has proved that Meucci’s laboratory notebook was not a forgery, and that Meucci demonstrated his invention, which he called the telettrofono, in 1860, 16 years before Alexander Graham Bell patented his instrument. Meucci, however, in dire financial straits, was unable to afford the fees to patent his invention.
Catania’s extensive search in about 50 archives and libraries in various countries and his study of their relevant documents also uncovered a mass of unpublished information on the suit brought by the U.S. government against Alexander Graham Bell and the Bell Company, which would have annulled the Bell patent.
Meucci died in 1889 before the government could complete its case, and history all but forgot him until Catania began his research.
Catania’s discoveries have appeared in a number of scientific magazines, as well as in Antenna, and have been filed with the U.S. Congress in support of a resolution acknowledging Meucci’s merits.
Catania also lectures on Meucci and has created an Internet site on the inventor: