Alexander Graham Bell 1847-1922
Born on March 3rd,
1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Alexander Bell eventually settled in Boston. He graduated from high school at age 14
and was primarily self-taught. He
continued teaching others for the remainder of his life. You probably are aware of the fact that
he was the brain behind transmitting vocal messages by electricity. You might not know that he taught the
deaf how to talk. Bell tutored
private students including Helen Keller!
He also founded the American Association to Promote the Teaching of
Speech to the Deaf. He founded Science, the magazine, in 1880, and the National Geographic
Society in 1888. He was even
president of the National Geographic Society from 1896 to 1904.
As far as inventing the
telephone goes, Bell had to prove to everybody by doing demonstrations that his
invention could actually work.
Finally on March 7th, 1876, he was granted a patent from the
U.S. Patent Office for the ‘electronic speaking telephone.’ It was patent number 174,465. In July of 1877, the Bell Telephone
Company was formed. They built the
first long distance telephone line from Boston to New York. Everyone wanted to be the one to invent
this great device so Bell had to go to court many times to prove he came up with
the idea first. There were 587
lawsuits and five went to the Supreme Court. He won every case.
Do you know what the very
first sentence transmitted over a phone line was? Three days after the patent went into effect, Bell’s
assistant heard the words, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want
you.” He suddenly realized
the invention worked. When
Alexander Graham Bell died on August 2, 1922, the entire nation stopped using
the phone for a full minute of silence.
This was a special tribute to the man who made this form of
& The Gale Group
Library of Congress
This is a collection of
over 4,500 items including scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, and
photographs from the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers. Bell's life
as teacher, inventor, and family man is described in his papers.
Source: Made possible by AT&T Foundation,
presented by the Library of Congress
For a detailed account of
the many contributions Bell made as an inventor, this is the place to go. Learn about the various associations he
founded as well as his dedication to teaching the deaf.
Source: The Gale Group
Reading Level: Moderate
The Path to
Learn the exact process by
which Bell created the telephone.
Follow the inventions he created right up until the patent was in
effect. Read the introduction
papers for dates and exact locations.
Reading Level: Hard
Alexander Graham Bell Association for
Founded in 1890 by Bell,
this association is mainly dedicated to children with hearing loss. They also produce books, magazines, and
a scholarly journal for anyone who is interested in learning more.
Source: A G Bell
Reading Level: Moderate
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