Elisha Gray was born in Barnesvulle, Ohio, in 1835. An inventor, his 60 patents included the multiplex telegraph. Gray's firm became the Western Electric Company.
Gray began experimenting with various acoustical devices. When Alexander Graham Bell heard the news he patented his telephone on 3rd March, 1876. The telephone was an instant success. Within three years there were 30,000 telephones in use around the world. Gray later claimed the invention of the telephone but lost the long legal battle in the Supreme Court. Gray died in 1901.