A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell
In 1964, of the more than 85 million telephones in the United States and Canada, less than one percent were used regularly by deaf people. In that same year, three enterprising deaf men, Robert H. Weitbrecht, James C. Marsters, and Andrew Saks, started the process that led to deaf people around the world possessing an affordable phone system that they could use. Harry Lang's A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell tells how these three men collaborated to solve the technical difficulties of developing a coupling device for TTYs that would translate sounds into discernible letters. More remarkably, and with the help of an expanding corps of Deaf advocates, they successfully assaulted the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), which in its efforts to protect its monopoly, smashed old TTYs to keep them from being used for potentially competitive purposes. A Phone of Our Own is an entertaining and engrossing story of how Deaf people fought and won, and changed the world for the better for deaf people everywhere.
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A. G. Bell Association acoustic coupler Alexander Graham Bell Andrew Saks APCOM APCOM partners Applied Communications Corp ASCII assistance AT&T Bell System Bell Telephone Calif California cost Courtesy Deaf American deaf and hard deaf community deaf people's deaf persons demonstration disabilities efforts electronic Engelke equipment established federal Fellendorf Gallaudet College Gallaudet University hard of hearing installed Latham Breunig Lee Brody letter to Marsters letter to Weitbrecht long-distance Louis machines Marsters and Saks Menlo Park messages Model modem National Association Office patent Peltz Strauss Phone-TTY Phonetype modem Picturephone portable President problems radio radioteletype recondition Robert H RTTY Saks's signals Taylor TDI's technical tele telecommunications devices Telegraph telephone access telephone company telephone devices telephone line telephone relay service teleprinters Teletype Corporation teletypewriter tion TTY call TTY network Ultratec United voice telephone Washington Weitbrecht Weitbrecht and Marsters Western Union wrote to Marsters York