Born August 2, 1835 – January 21, 1901
Patent #: 461,470
Elisha Gray invented numerous improvements in the telegraph and telephone
industries, including the teleautograph, a forerunner of the modern day fax
Born in Barnesville, Ohio, Gray had developed an interest in telegraphic communication from an early age and built a working prototype at age ten, less than a year after the first telegraph line was erected. After attending Oberlin College for two years, Gray established himself as an electrician while simultaneously designing and inventing various telegraphic devices, including a telegraphic relay in 1867 that won him patronage from Western Union. Gray subsequently became a founder of the Western Electric Manufacturing Company, which manufactured telegraphic instruments. In 1875, Gray sold his share of Western Electric to become a full time inventor.