In addition to her errors about Bell and the deaf, Ms. Booth gives a distorted and incomplete history of the invention of the telephone. She claims that Bell and Elisha Gray were neck and neck and that Bell may have stolen the idea from Gray. She focusses on the months of February and March 1876, while ignoring the nine years of prior work by Bell that led to the telephone.
She seems to believe that whoever filed first with the Patent Office would be awarded the patent. It’s irrelevant that Bell filed his patent on the same day that Elisha Gray submitted his patent caveat (which was only a description of an idea for an invention.) Bell had the correct theory and “had notarized his conception before Gray spoke or wrote a word about his,” as Prof. Robert Bruce writes in his biography.
During the patent trials, Bell proved priority of conception (which mattered more than date of filing) with a letter he wrote in November 1874 to his parents in which he described the correct theory of the telephone, and the drawings of a telephone he left that month with Clarence Blake.
Ms. Booth totally omits discussion of Bell’s “gallows telephone” of June 1875 which was the first device to transmit complex sounds and is considered the first telephone.
Ms. Booth also implies that Bell stole the liquid transmitter from Gray. But Bell drew many drawings of liquid transmitters over a span of more than three years before Gray filed his caveat. (Many of these drawings can be seen in Wikipedia or found online in the Library of Congress.)
For more information, see the thorough discussion by professional historians here:
“The Bell-Gray Controversy,” by Bernard Carlson and Ralph Meyer, Invention & Technology, Fall 2008.
“Did Alexander Graham Bell Steal the Telephone Patent?”, by Ralph O. Meyer and Edwin S. Grosvenor, American Heritage, Summer 2008.