Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci - Inventor. He is best known as the inventor of the telephone. In 1854, he designed and build the "telettrofono", the first prototype of a telephone. In 1871, he succeeded in founding the Telettrofono Company. In the same year, the inventor Alexander Graham Bell, has designed an electric telephone. The Italian inventor was in financial difficulties and he was unable to patent his invention. The invention of the telephone was attributed to his rival.