Alexander Graham Bell: Biography, Invention, Education & Awards

NameAlexander Graham Bell
OccupationScottish scientist and inventor
Death Of Death08/02/1922 (at 75 years old)
Known forInvention of the telephone

Alexander Graham Bell Biography

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) was a Scottish scientist, inventor of the telephone, and founder of the Bell Telephone Company. He participated in the opening of the first transcontinental line connecting New York to San Francisco, in 1915.

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847. Son of Alexander Melville Bell, educator of the deaf and dumb, and Eliza Grace Symonds, who became deaf at a young age. 

Childhood and training

Graham Bell was homeschooled until he was eleven, when he entered the Royal High School in Edinburgh, where he remained for four years.

In addition to being self-taught, he learned a lot from his father and grandfather, who were authorities in speech correction and training for the hearing-impaired.

In 1861, he began to attend conferences held at the University of Edinburgh and University College, London. That same year, he began teaching music and diction at the Weston House Academy in Elgin, Scotland.

Beginning in 1864, he became a teacher and resident of the Weston House Academy, studying and teaching speech correction techniques.

In 1868, in London, he became his father’s assistant and took his place when he traveled to the United States to teach courses in speech therapy.

Moving to the United States

In 1870, after the death of his two younger brothers, suffering from tuberculosis, the Bell family moved to Canada.

They buy a house in Brantford, Ontario, which became known as the “Melville House” and is now called the “Bell Manor”.

Alexander Graham Bell went on to lecture in Boston on the system of phonetic symbols created by his father.

In 1872, he founded a preparatory school for teachers for the deaf and dumb in Massachusetts. The following year he became professor of vocal physiology at Boston University.

Telephone Invention

Bell’s research, trying to find a way to make the deaf hear, gave the researcher the idea of ​​transmitting the word through electrical waves.

To carry out his research, he received financial help from the parents of two of his students. One of them, a lawyer and businessman, who would become his father-in-law. In 1875, he registered a patent for a telegraph.

In 1876, he returned to Boston and after six months of work presented a rudimentary apparatus, which he himself would later improve. The telephone was invented.

Graham Bell began a complicated legal fight over patent issues with Italian Antonio Meucci. That same year the telephone is presented at an exhibition in Philadelphia.

Also in 1876, Bell founded the first telephone company, the “Bell Telephone Company”, which later became AT&T. 

In 1882, he became a US citizen. The following year, he idealized the journal Science.

In 1885, Graham Bell acquires land in Nova Scotia, Canada, where he builds a country house. In 1898, he succeeds his father-in-law as president of the National Geographic Society, transforming the former magazine into a popular publication.

Awards and honors

  • In 1880, Bell is honored by the French Academy with the Volta Prize, whose money he donated for research on deafness.
  • In 1882, the University of Würzburg, Germany, awarded him the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa.
  • In 1902, the Royal Society of the Arts in London awarded him the Albert Medal.

First transcontinental line

In 1915, the first North American transcontinental telephone line was opened, connecting New York to San Francisco.

Invited to the opening, Bell manages to bring his assistant Thomas Watson, who many years ago, had heard the voice transmission over the telephone to the other end of the line.

other inventions

Married to Mabele Hubbard since July 11, 1877, he moved to Washington where he set up a laboratory dedicated to other inventions.

Many other scientific and technical advances are owed to Graham Bell, including the invention of the audiometer – an instrument to measure the ear’s sensitivity to different sounds, and a device to locate metallic objects in the human body.

Alexander Graham Bell died at his home in Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia, Canada, on August 2, 1922.

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