Twelve years after the first Morse Code signal had been successfully transmitted across the Atlantic, an American inventor named Lee de Forest appeared in a US court charged with fraud. The case against him was that he had been selling shares in his Radio Telephone Company.
Putting his case before the jury, the prosecutor explained, 'De Forest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public has been persuaded to purchase stocks in his company'.
Two years later, the first direct transatlantic speech relay by radio telephone was made. As for Lee de Forest, he patented more than 300 inventions and became known in America as the ‘father of radio’.
In: I wish I’d never said that, Oxford, Past Times, 2001, p. 61.