Was Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell constantly upstaging
each other?

We know Edison, a deaf man, invented “everything” whereas Bell, a
teacher of the deaf, won a patent for a telephone (whether he deserved
the patent is best left to historians).


Look at these developments:

* Bell had 30 patents; Edison had over 1,000 patents
* Bell won the telephone patent; Edison modified the telephone transmitter
* Bell had few people working for him; Edison employed over 10,000 people
* Edison invented the phonograph; Bell improved on it to make it much better
* Edison avoided inventing a hearing aid; Bell felt a hearing aid was best
for the deaf
* Bell had no hearing aid patents but Edison, despite his dislike for a
hearing aid, came up with a patent for a telescopophone, which consisted
of funnels inserted into one’s ear. It actually worked very well
* Bell stressed oralism during dinner conversations; Edison was said to
rely on Morse Code to communicate with his wife, feeling the wife’s
tapping on his knee under the table