'Bell's telephone in operation', late 19th century. Scottish-born American inventor Bell (1847-1922) filed the patent for his telephone at the United States Patent Office at 3pm on 14 February 1876, just 2 hours before a rival device developed by Elisha Gray. In 1878 he demonstrated the telephone to Queen Victoria at her residence, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight. On the evening of 14 January 1878 contact was made with nearby Osborne Cottage and terminals in Southampton and London. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)