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A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell

Lang, Harry G.

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ISBN 10: 1563680904 / ISBN 13: 9781563680908
Published by Gallaudet University Press, Washington, DC, 2000
Condition: Very good in fine dust jacket. Hardcover
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About this Item

xv, 242 p. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Foreword by Claude L. Stout. Lang, a professor for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, tells about how three enterprising deaf men--Robert Weitbrecht, James Marsters, and Andrew Saks--fought telephone monopolies and bureaucracies and overcame technical difficulties to develop a phone deaf people can use, one that converts sounds into text. Bookseller Inventory # 64034

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection ...

Publisher: Gallaudet University Press, Washington, DC

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good in fine dust jacket.

Edition: Presumed first edition/first printing.

About this title


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.


The best parts of this well-researched book describe the talents and personalities of the major players and the eventual cooperation from many sources that has allowed the deaf to enhance their personal, social, and professional lives by using a "phone." This account chronicles a most important leap for deaf communication from the 1960s through the 1990s, of which many of the hearing population are unaware.

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