The unknown man who has such an outsized impact on our lives. That’s John Karlin. If I would have heard his name in passing I would have never known who he was. But when I hear what he is responsible for, his “inventions,” I know him instantly. The man basically invented the modern telephone. A couple of weeks ago Mr. Karlin past away at age 94. The New York Times had a nice obituary for him, available here.