First there were all the claims made by people about the French in the 30's "inventing" all sorts of bicycle firsts which don't stand muster to in-depth verification, now we read: "Charley Davey of the Vegetarian & Athletic Cycling Club invented the forward-opening drop out in 1919."
This is simply not true!
Like almost everything else on bikes, the invention of this style of dropouts predates WWI and most likely into the 19th century.
As proof, I should be able to find a photo of a Bianchi Bersagliere military bike from WWI with these dropouts, as well as a Stucchi from the teens. I will however not be so bold as to suggest that these dropouts were first made by either of these companies, nor even that they were "invented" in Italy.