You picked up your dear phone and then called your best friend. Have you ever for ones wondered how your phone came to being? Do you know it was someone that invented the technology. Do you even know the person or where he is from? Well then, the story is for your inquisition. Just sit back and read on the story of Graham Bell the great man.
Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone . Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother had all
been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876. Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his
study. Many other inventions marked Bell’s later life, including groundbreaking work in optical
telecommunications , hydrofoils and aeronautics . In 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.
Alexander Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847. The family home was at 16 South Charlotte Street, and has a stone inscription marking it as Alexander Graham Bell’s birthplace. He had two brothers: Melville
James Bell (1845–70) and Edward Charles Bell (1848–67), both of whom would die of tuberculosis. His father was Professor Alexander Melville Bell, a phonetician , and his mother was Eliza Grace (née Symonds).
Born as just “Alexander Bell”, at age 10 he made a plea to his father to have a middle name like his two brothers. For his 11th birthday, his father acquiesced and allowed him to adopt the name “Graham”, chosen out of respect for Alexander Graham, a Canadian being treated by his father who had become a family friend. To close relatives and friends he remained “Aleck”.
By 1874, Bell’s initial work on the harmonic telegraph had entered a formative stage, with progress made both at his new Boston “laboratory” (a rented facility) and at his family home in Canada a big success. While working that summer in Brantford, Bell experimented with a ” phonautograph”, a pen-like machine that could draw shapes of sound waves on smoked glass by tracing their vibrations. Bell thought it might be possible to generate undulating electrical currents that corresponded to sound waves. Bell also thought that multiple metal reeds tuned to
different frequencies like a harp would be able to convert the undulating currents back into sound. But he had no working model to demonstrate the feasibility of these ideas. In 1874, telegraph message traffic was rapidly
expanding and in the words of Western Union President William Orton, had become “the
nervous system of commerce”. Orton had contracted with inventors Thomas Edison and Elisha Gray to find a way to send multiple telegraph messages on each telegraph line to avoid the great cost of constructing new lines. When Bell mentioned to Gardiner Hubbard and Thomas Sanders that he was working on a method of sending multiple tones on a telegraph wire using a multi-reed device, the two wealthy patrons began to financially support Bell’s experiments. Patent matters would be handled by Hubbard’s patent attorney, Anthony Pollok. In March 1875, Bell and Pollok visited the famous scientist Joseph Henry , who was then director of the Smithsonian Institution, and
asked Henry’s advice on the electrical multi-reed apparatus that Bell hoped would transmit the human voice by telegraph. Henry replied that Bell had “the germ of a great invention”. When Bell said that he did not have the necessary knowledge, Henry replied, “Get it!” That declaration greatly encouraged Bell to keep trying, even though he did not have the equipment needed to continue his experiments, nor the ability to create a working model of his
ideas. However, a chance meeting in 1874 between Bell and Thomas A. Watson, an experienced electrical designer and mechanic at the electrical machine shop of Charles Williams, changed all that. With financial support from Sanders and Hubbard, Bell hired Thomas Watson as his assistant, and the two of them experimented with acoustic telegraphy . On June 2, 1875, Watson accidentally plucked one of the reeds and Bell, at the receiving end of the wire,
heard the overtones of the reed; overtones that would be necessary for transmitting speech. That demonstrated to Bell that only one reed or armature was necessary, not multiple reeds. This led to the “gallows” sound-powered
telephone , which could transmit indistinct, voice-like sounds, but not clear speech.