Alexander Graham Bell – Life, Inventions, Biography & Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell – Biography

Alexander Grahan Bell is a name that revolutionized communication, one of the most important parts of our lives, with the invention of the telephone. Because his wife and mother are deaf, Bell was interested in sound technologies from the very beginning. Although there are debates as to whether Bell really was the pioneer of the phone, ultimately; He was the first to own the rights to telephone technology and founded the telephone company. Alexander Graham Bell, who founded the Bell Telephone company in 1877 and worked on communication-speech throughout his life, had 18 patents and, of course, is the scientist who has made a huge impact on the present day.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Life

Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Bell’s father was a professor of oratory at Edinburgh University and a successful pianist, although his mother was deaf. Young Alexander was an intellectually curious boy who studied piano and started to invent things at a young age. When Bell was in his early twenties, both of his brothers died of tuberculosis.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Education

Initially; Bell was homeschooled and was a good problem solver at a very young age, although he did not progress very easily in academia. When he was just 12 years old, young Alexander Grahan Bell invented a device with a rotary vane and a nail brush that could quickly remove husks from wheat grains to help make farming easier. At the age of 16, he began to study speech mechanics. When Alexander Graham Bell advanced in age, he attended Royal High High School and Edinburgh University. He then moved to Canada with his family in 1870. He settled in the United States the following year. While in the United States, Bell began implementing a system called “visible speech” as a set of symbols that his father developed to teach deaf children, representing speech sounds. In 1872 he opened the School of Sound Physiology and Speech Mechanics in Boston, where the deaf were taught to speak. 26-year-old, progressing inventor, despite not having a university degree; Became Professor of Vocal Physiology and Speech at Boston University Oratory School. While teaching, Bell met the hearing-impaired student Mabel Hubbard. The couple married on July 11, 1877. They had four children, including two sons who died in infancy.

Telephone

In 1871, Bell began work on the harmonic telegraph, a device that allows multiple messages to be transmitted over a cable at the same time.
While trying to perfect this technology supported by a group of investors, Bell was interested in finding a way to transmit human voice over wires. In 1875, Bell invented a simple receiver that could convert electricity to sound with the help of his wife, Thomas Watson. Other scientists such as Antonio Meucci and Elisha Gray have been working on similar technologies, so doubts remain as to who the phone was invented. Besides, it is said that Bell ran to the patent office to be the first person to secure his exploration rights.

A telephone patent was given to Bell on March 7, 1876. A few days later with Watson; Allegedly now famous “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.” made the first phone call in history. In 1877, the Bell Telephone Company, known today as AT&T, was founded.
In 1915, Bell made the first intercontinental phone call from New York to San Francisco to Watson.

Legal struggles

The inventor battled a nearly 20-year legal battle with other scientists, including Gray and Meucci, who claimed to have created telephone prototypes prior to Alexander Grahan Bell’s patent. however, following a series of decisions, the company Bell won the Supreme Court decision. While the Bell Company faced more than 550 court cases, in the end, none was successful.

Alexander Graham Bell Inventions

Besides the telephone, Alexander Grahan Bell has worked on hundreds of projects throughout his career and obtained patents in various fields. Some of his other notable inventions were:

–Metal detector: Bell originally invented this device to find a bullet inside the assassinated President James A. Garfield.

– Photophone: Photophone, a device that enables speech to be transmitted over a light beam.

-Pikap: This enhanced version of the gramophone can record and play sound.

-Hearing meter (audiometer): This device was used to detect hearing problems.

– In 1880, Bell received the French Volta Prize, and with the money he received, he built a facility dedicated to scientific discovery at the Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

-Alexander Grahan Bell developed numerous techniques for teaching the deaf to speak and even worked with renowned writer and activist Helen Keller. He also helped publish Science magazine and served as president of the National Geographic Society from 1896 until 1904.

Eugenics

In 1921, Bell was given the title of honorary president at the Second International Congress of Eugenics. Although Bell did not go so far as to advocate sterilization, he supported efforts to train people to weed out diseases and injuries. This relationship with the eugenics movement is an interesting event given Bell’s efforts to help the deaf. Alexander Graham Bell focused on aviation and hydrofoil inventions later in his life. He helped develop flying machines such as the tetrahedral kite and the Silver Dart, and created the world’s fastest hydrofoil at the time.

Death of Alexander Graham Bell

Diabetes complications were the cause of Alexander Graham Bell’s death. With the support of his wife and two daughters, he was able to cope with his illness for a while. He died on August 2, 1922, at the age of 75 in Nova Scotia, Canada. During Bell’s funeral, every phone in North America was silenced to commemorate the inventor. Today the famous scientist is credited with his breakthrough work in sound technology and improving the education of the deaf. And his best-known invention, the telephone, forever changed the way people communicate with each other.

Reference: https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/alexander-graham-bell

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