ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL BIOGRAPHY
BIRTH: March 3, 1847
DEATH : August 2, 1922 (aged 75)
Beinn Bhreagh, Canada
Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish- American inventor, scientist, businessman and a great teacher. He was the inventor of the telephone, by which he created history in the field of communication. He was described as the ‘teacher of the deaf’, and started the well-known Bell Telephone Company. Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland to Prof. Alexander Melville Bell and Eliza Grace Symonds. He had two siblings. He got the name ‘Graham’ at the age of ten. Alexander wanted to have a middle name, like his two brothers, and so he became Alexander Graham Bell.
He was born into a well-educated family. The young Alexander was taught by his grandfather, who was a speech teacher. His father was a teacher and taught deaf children how to speak. His mother was deaf, and a talented painter. She also played the piano. Alexander was home-schooled by his mother and later went to Edinburgh’s Royal High School. After graduating, he attended the University of Edinburgh and the University College London. In 1864, Alexander got the position of a pupil- teacher at Weston House Academy, Moray.
His first invention was creating a wheat- husking machine at the age of twelve. In 1870, his family settled in Canada after the death of his two brothers. Two years later, Alexander started the School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech in Boston. He helped his students learn the manner of speech. Greatly influenced by his family, he started to work with deaf people. With his father, he developed ‘Visible Speech’. It was the study of how the tongue, lips and throat are used to produce vocal sounds.
In 1872, he became a professor at the Boston University School of Oratory. Along with his teaching job, Bell continued to work on his own research. He focused his research on his father’s work of teaching deaf people to interact. This was the start of Bell’s journey towards the invention of the telephone. He worked on the idea of transmitting human voice over wires, and began working on how to transmit telephonic messages. He conducted experiments and attempted to send multiple telegraph signals
over a single cable.
The first time he speculated inventing the telephone was in 1874. He finally came up with a discovery to successfully send multiple messages on a single wire. Bell listened to the human voice over a wire which led to the invention the of telephone. He finally got the patent in 1876, which is considered as one of the most valuable patents in history. The first words that were spoken on the phone in his laboratory were, “Mr Watson-come here I want to see you.” In 1877, Bell started the Bell Telephone Company.
Apart from this, he invented many other things in the field of science. Bell made the first metal detector in the world. He also developed the audiometer, which was used to detect hearing problems. He even created a device to help find icebergs. In 1888, Bell was one of the founding members of the National Geographic. It later became one of the most famous magazines in the world.
Bell worked for the deaf all his life. He developed many new techniques and helped teach lip-reading teaching. In 1890, he started the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. At the end of the nineteenth century, he began to take an interest in transport technologies instead of sound and recording. In 1907, he founded the Aerial Experiment Association and conducted outstanding work
in the field of hydrofoils and aeronautics. He also created high speed aircrafts and boats. Bell, with a few others, made many flying machines; the most famous one was the Silver Dart. It was the first machine that was flown in Canada.
Bell created history with his inventions, which changed the world. He was honored for these several times in his career. He was awarded the Volta Prize along with a cash prize in 1880 for the invention of the telephone. In 1881, the Government of France honored him with the Legion of Honor and then the Albert Medal in 1902. In 1914, he received AIEE’s Edison Medal for honorable achievement for the invention of the telephone. He also received many honorary degrees from academic institutions.
Bell married Mabel Hubbard in 1877. She was one of Alexander’s deaf students and ten years younger to him. The couple had four children. He passed away on August 2, 1922. On his burial day, as a tribute, all the telephone services in the United States were halted for a minute.