Elisha Gray

American electrical engineer

Elisha Gray (2 August 183521 January 1901) was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 in Highland Park, Illinois. Some recent authors have argued that Gray should be considered the true inventor of the telephone because Alexander Graham Bell allegedly stole the idea of the liquid transmitter from him. Although Gray had been using liquid transmitters in his telephone experiments for more than two years previously, Bell's telephone patent was upheld in numerous court decisions. Gray is also considered to be the father of the modern music synthesizer, and was granted over 70 patents for his inventions.

Science has no prejudices — though scientists often do.



Nature's Miracles (1900)

Three volumes: Familiar Talks on Science (Vol I.); Energy and Vibration (Vol II.); Electricity and Magnetism (Vol. III).
  • A word about the title--"Nature's Miracles." Some may claim that it is unscientific to speak of the operations of nature as "miracles." But the point of the title lies in the paradox of finding so many wonderful things--as wonderful as any miracle that was ever recorded--subservient to the rule of law. "But," you say, "a miracle does not come under any rule of law." Ah! are you sure of that? It is true that we may not understand the law that the so-called miracle comes under, but the Author of all natural law does.
    • Familiar Talks on Science, Volume 1, 1899, p. V
    • (See Charles Babbage's for a similar commentary on miracles)
  • The sponge, whether considered as a single or compound animal, has the power to reproduce itself, and here the mystery of life is as much hidden as it is in God's highest creation. It has been stated that every sponge contains a large number of separate cells which carry on the operation of circulation and respiration, and may be likened to the heart and lungs of an animal of a higher creation. Zoologists claim that each one of these cells represents a separate animal, living in a common structure.
    • Familiar Talks on Science, Volume 1, 1899, p. 172
  • Those who believe that the laws of nature are the creations of a beneficent and all-wise Intelligence will see in this exception to the general law in the case of freezing water a striking evidence of design. But those who have no such belief will say it is a most fortunate though fortuitous circumstance (a saying they will have to make, regarding thousands of other things in nature), and go on floundering in the interminable sea of "I don't know."
    • Familiar Talks on Science, Volume 1, 1899, p. 196
  • It is the province of the scientist to reveal the facts of nature as they now exist, and leave the rest to the speculation of the philosopher and the theologian. The growth of vegetation made it possible for animal and insect life to exist, and the earth teemed with both; first of an inferior kind, but later, as the conditions for a higher order of life were right, the higher order came with the improved conditions. In this way was the earth through countless ages of time prepared for manGod's highest creation.
    • Familiar talks on science, Volume 2 (1900), p. 157
  • Science has no prejudices — though scientists often do. Science is like figures: they do not lie themselves, but the men who figure are often the greatest liars in the world.
    • Energy and vibration: energy, sound, heat, light, explosives (1900); Fords, Howard & Hulbert, p. 201
  • The world is now rapidly advancing in light, in knowledge, in power to use the infinite gifts that the Creator has hidden in nature; but hidden only to stimulate and reward our seeking. Every man can help in this grand progress,--if not by research and positive thought-power, at least by grateful acceptance and realization of what is gained. Look forward!
    • Energy and vibration: energy, sound, heat, light, explosives (1900); Fords, Howard & Hulbert, p. 237
  • What shall we say of the Intelligence that plans all this? Can the Creator be less than the creature? Shall we not say that Intelligence is indestructible, and its measure is its Power to adapt means to ends? Intelligence, Matter, Energy — nature's trinity in her manifestations.
    • Energy and vibration: energy, sound, heat, light, explosives (1900); Fords, Howard & Hulbert, p. 166
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