Have you ever abandoned a project before you had completed it? If so, did you regret it? Well, Elisha Grey[i], born on the 2nd in 1835, did and I am pretty sure that, man, he had to have regretted giving it up a whole lot. He was an inventor. He made a bunch of money with a telegraph and then turned his sights on a telephone. On February 14, 1876, he filed a caveat with the US Patent Office. A caveat isn’t a formal patent application but is a sort of heads up to the agency; it didn’t contain drawings or specifications, just a general description of the invention. On the same day, Alexander Graham Bell filed the same thing, though several hours after Grey. At first, Grey fought Bell’s application and in one action Bell was found guilty of interference, whether electrical, social or financial is unclear. After that, Grey simply never followed up on his filing. A patent for the telephone, number 174,465 was issued to Bell on March 7. This probably pissed Grey off to no good end.
[i] In 1887 Gray was granted several patents for his "telautograph", and several similar devices which were early fax machines.