Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922), his hometown was Edinburgh, Scotland.
His parents Alexander Melville Bell and Eliza Grace Symonds Bell. The second name “Graham” was added when he was 10 years old.
He had two brothers, Melville James Bell, and Edward Charles Bell, both of whom died of tuberculosis.
Her father and grandfather were experts in the mechanics of voice and elocution, meanwhile, Eliza, was almost deaf, was a great pianist and inspired him to undertake great challenges, and she always instilled in Alexander an infinite curiosity for the world.
He received one year of formal education at a private school and two years at the Royal High School in Edinburgh. Although he was not a prominent student, he showed an impressive ability to solve problems.
During his youth, Alexander Graham Bell attended a period to the University of Edinburgh and the University College London, but he did not manage to finish his studies, so his training was basically self-taught.
In his hometown, known as the Athens of the North, for its rich culture of arts and science, allowed Bell to exploit and enhance the projects he had in his head. One of them is research on the transmission of speech.
The sudden death of his older brother because of tuberculosis, a disease that had also killed his younger brother. It negatively affected both the physical and emotional health of Alexander Graham Bell. For this reason, he and his family moved in 1870 to Brantford, Canada.
A year later, Alexander left for Boston, USA, where he worked as a Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, and at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut. And took the opportunity to popularize the system called visible language.
He began to be known in the academic world, fame and income that he acquired allowed in 1872 to found a school for deaf and dumb in Boston, Massachusetts.
Later he joined the University of Boston, where he served as professor of vocal physiology. In addition, in this same year, he obtained the American nationality.
“When one door closes, another opens, but often we see so much time and with such sadness the door that closes that we do not notice another door that has been opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell
The spectacular results of their work soon generated a deserved reputation among the scientific community.
He was receiving offers from universities to give various conferences, his lectures were of great quality. He always mentioned his father’s work, Visible speech, and gave small advances on the machine that we know today as a telephone.
In 1876, the Centennial exhibition was held in Philadelphia, at which time his invention was launched around the world.
He then joined forces with a group of investors led by Gardiner Hubbard to establish a federal telegraph company. This was to compete with Western Union, they entered into an agreement with the Post Office to send low-cost telegrams.
Hubbard saw a great offer in the harmonic telegraph and defended Bell’s experiments. Organizing in 1877 the Bell Telephone Company.
The company generated high revenues, so much so that, with the profits, Bell in 1878 opened the first telephone exchange in New Haven, Connecticut, United States.
The first call
In this he worked intensely, it took more than 10 years for the first long distance call to be made between the cities of Boston and New York.
At first, the phone raised all kinds of ironic and unbelieving comments, but by revealing itself as a functional long distance communication medium.
He also sparked controversial lawsuits over the commercialization of the patent because other scientists were working along the same lines, including an Italian-American Antonio Meucci.
In 1880 he was awarded the French Volta prize, awarding him 50,000 francs, for his innovative invention and contribution to humanity.
With this money he founded the Volta Laboratory in the city of Washington, working in collaboration with Charles Sumner Tainter, invested the money and all his forces in the development of a new device, the phonograph, one of the first known sound recording systems.
He also conducted experiments in communication, medical research, and methods of teaching speech to the deaf, working together with Helen Keller, among other prominent figures.
“A person without a practical end in sight becomes a crank or an idiot.” Alexander Graham Bell.
Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, his wife, became deaf at the age of five, and despite her first refusal to know herself, two years later they got married.
They had two daughters and two sons, although the latter died at a very young age. His father-in-law would become the first president of the National Geographic Society, and he became the main promoter of his research.
He was one of the co-founders of National Geographic and from 1897 to 1904 was his second president. In 1883 he founded the journal Science.
The father of his wife Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, became the main promoter of their investigations. He was one of the co-founders of the National Geographic Society and from 1897 to 1904 he would become the president. This help contributed a lot to the dissemination of Bell’s inventions.
Other of his outstanding inventions are: the audiometer (used to measure the acuity of the ear) the induction balance (used to locate metal objects in the human body) and the first wax cylinder for engraving, introduced in 1886.
After his death on August 2, 1922 on his property in Nova Scotia as a result of complications arising from his diabetes, he left as inheritance eighteen patents to his name and twelve more with his collaborators.
Bell’s last word was expressed in sign language when his wife asked him not to leave, he said “no”.
Throughout his life, Bell tried to promote the advancement of scientific knowledge, his work was recognized by that on the day of his burial the telephone services of the United States stood for one minute in his honor.
5 Curious Facts About Alexander Graham Bell
- He developed his first invention at age 12
- He was a speech therapist, pianist, and ventriloquist
- Anticipated the mobile and fiber optic
- He created the metal detector and the hydroplane
- He founded National Geographic
- In 1878 Bell inaugurated the first telephone exchange in New Haven, Connecticut