Strowger Found Success
Strowger was not the first person to patent an automatic telephone system. David Connolly, T. A. Connolly, and J. T. McTighe devised a device in 1879, which was featured at the Paris Exposition in 1881, according to a 1953 article titled Early Work on Dial Telephone Systems by R.B. Hill. The device was not practical because it would work only with very few telephone lines, Hill wrote, and it was never put into commercial service. Other patents for automatic telephone systems followed, but only Strowger’s would result in commercial success.