Alexander Graham Bell Alexander Graham Bell is of great importance in the world of communications. He is best known for his invention, the telephone. He is also known for his association with teaching the deaf and being the president of National Geographic. His background and early education had a great influence on his career. He was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Alexander Melville Bell, taught deaf mutes to speak, wrote textbooks on correct speech.
His father was the inventor of "visible speech', a code that indicated the position and action of the throat, tongue, and lips in uttering various sounds. The "visible speech's ymbols helped to teach the deaf how to "speak'. Alexander's mother, Eliza Grace Symonds, was an accomplished musician and portrait painter. When Graham was around twelve his mother began to lose her ability to hear. Graham became an expert in "Visible Speech's o he could help his mother and his father with teaching people.
Alexander and his two brothers helped their father give public demonstrations of "visible speech', in 1862. Around the same time, Graham applied for a job as a student teacher at Weston House, an all boys's chool near Edinburgh. He taught music and speech in exchange for instruction in other subjects. After a year studying at the University of Edinburgh, he became a full-time teacher. He also studied at the University of London and used "Visible Speech' to teach a class of deaf children. In 1866, he carried out a series of experiments to determine how vowel sounds are spoken.
Graham read a book on acoustics by the German physicist Hermann Von Helmholtz. The book described experiments in combining the notes of electrically driven tuning forks to make vowel sounds. While his father lectured in the United States, Graham took control of the family business. When his father returned to Scotland, they became partners. At the same time, Graham studied the vocal apparatus in cadaver at the University College in London. In 1870 his older brother Edward died of tuberculosis.
The doctors warned that Graham was at risk too. His father closed his business in London and they moved to Ontario, Canada in the August of 1870. Once relocated in Brantford, Ontario, Alexander's health improved. In 1871, the principal for the school of the deaf in Boston, Sarah Fuller, asked his father to teach "Visible Speech' to her teachers. When his father was unable to do so, Graham taught them.
In 1872, he opened a school for the teachers of the deaf. The following year Graham became a professor at Boston University. While working in Boston, Graham made many new friends. One of his friends was an attorney named Gardiner Green Hubbard. Hubbard's daughter, Mabel, had been left deaf by scarlet fever.
Hubbard was a critic of Western Union, a telegraph service, so when he found out that Graham was secretly working on improvements to the telegraph, he immediately offered him financial support. He hoped to create an alternative for the telegraph service. With Hubbard's financial backing, Graham established a lab to carry out his research. In 1872, Alexander began his experiments with the telegraph.
One of the experiments he did was trying to send multiple messages over a single line at the same time. While visiting his father in Brantford during 1874, he developed the idea for the telephone. When Graham returned to Boston, he continued his work with telegraphy, but kept the telephone in mind. After experimenting for sometime, he realized that he lacked the experience and time for some of his experiments. So he went to seek the help of Thomas Watson. They became fast friends and eventually Watson received a share in Bell's telephone patents in return for his early work.
Bell worked on numerous experiments involving the telegraph. During these experiments, he figured out that it would be possible to pick up all the sounds of the human voice on the harmonic telegraph; a telegraph, which he had developed in order to send multiple, telegraphs at one time. On June 2, 1875 Bell was at one end of the telegraph while Watson was working on the reeds in a different room when Bell heard the first sound, a reed breaking over the wire. He ran to Watson screaming at the top of his lungs, "Watson, what did you just do, don't change anything!' After plucking reeds for about an hour, Graham gave Watson instructions for making a pair of improved instruments. These new instruments transmitted recognizable voice sounds, not words. They continued their experiments through the summer and in the fall of 1875, Graham began to write the specifications for his first telephone patent.
On March 7, 1876, the patent was issued. Three days later, Bell transmitted human speech for the first time. It happened when Graham upset the acid in a battery and it had gotten all over his clothes. Graham spoke into the transmitter, "Mr. Watson, come here.
I want you.' When Watson arrived after hearing the words they quickly forgot about the acid and they celebrated. Bell demonstrated his telephones at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Graham and Watson performed many successful demonstrations and were given great honor for their invention. However, Bell did not take an active part in the telephone business. Sometimes Bell was called into court to testify against those who claimed they had invented the telephone. In all cases, the court denied their claim.
Bell went on to experiment with other things for 45 years after he invented the telephone. In 1880, Bell was awarded the Volta Prize of 50, 000 francs by the French Government for his invention of the telephone. He used the money to fund the Volta Laboratory for research, invention, and work for the deaf. There he and his associates developed a system of making phonograph records on wax discs. The patents for the method were sold in 1886, and Bell used his share of the money to establish the Volta Bureau, a section of the laboratory devoted to working with the deaf. In 1890, Bell established the American Association to promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf.
This association is now called the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. In his later life Bell was noted for his interest in flying. He did many experiments with kites that could carry a man and heavier than air machines. In 1907, Bell helped organize the Aerial Experiment Association, which worked to advance aviation. He also was the President and one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society. After becoming a United States citizen in 1882, he settled at his estate on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
Alexander Graham Bell died on August 22, 1922 at his Cape Breton house. He led a productive life and will always be remembered for his great advances in communications. Before his invention of the telephone communication was much more difficult. With his invention he revolutionized the way people do business. Instead of having to send orders in by hand people could use the telephone to order.
It helped keep unity in countries because news could be received in seconds instead of days. He was truly devoted to communication with the deaf and will always be associated with them. During the second revolution, people began to use electricity and inventors such as Bell and Edison made many important advances. Bell made the telephone and Edison made the light bulb.
It was a period in time when there were many new inventions made to make life simpler. Alexander Graham Bell was one of the most important figures of the second industrial revolution.