Biography Of The Inventor Alexander Graham Bell

Biography of the inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Discover how as a result of his tireless work helping deaf people, inventor Alexander Graham Bell helped developed the device that we now call the telephone.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland to well educated parents, Alexander Graham Bell's formative years were a hotbed of rapid learning. He was home schooled by his mother up until the age of ten, when unfortunately she began to go deaf, hindering her ability to teach effectively. This, coupled with the fact that his father and grandfather were both experts in the field of speech, gave Bell the drive to use his study to aid deaf people.

Perhaps Bell's father's most important invention was that of the visible speech system. This was a series of diagrams that showed the exact throat shape, and position of tongue and lips, for many different vocal sounds. It was an invaluable tool when teaching deaf people how to speak correctly, a talent that Alexander Bell became very adept at doing.

Combining tutoring at the University of Edinburgh with studying at the University of London, in 1866 Bell carried out a series of experiments that would prove to be a forerunner to those that resulted in the invention of the electrical speech machine, what we today call the telephone. By using electrically driven tuning forks, he was trying to create vowel sounds, and this gave him the idea of telegraphing speech. His goal all the time though was not to create the telephone at this stage, rather develop techniques to help deaf people speak.

In 1870, the Bell family moved to Canada, due to the death of Alexander's brother from tuberculosis. A year later though Alexander Bell had moved to Boston and opened a school for teachers of deaf mutes. A year later he had become the Professor of Vocal Physiology at Boston University, and in many ways what he set out to do in life - teach deaf mutes to speak - had been achieved. However, it was to be as an inventor, not a teacher, that he would become most famous.

Having spent much of the preceding years helping deaf people, it was perhaps appropriate that he should marry one in 1875, Mabel Hubbard. A year earlier the inventor had begun work on a telegraph that would transmit multiple sounds at once, a work that would eventually result in the telephone.

With the aid of an electrician friend, Thomas Watson, Alexander Graham Bell invented a device that converted a particular sound into a particular electrical current. It should be noted that another inventor Antonio Meucci had invented his own telephone several years earlier, but had failed to maintain proper patents. This current then travelled down the line until, arriving at the other end the opposite happened, the electrical current was converted back into sound. Voice sounds were developed and after much hard work a patent for the telephone was issued on March 7, 1876. Three days later the first intelligible sentence had been spoken over the telephone. The advances in that area of technology since have been phenomenal. For example, the Internet operates through phone lines and data such as video images can be transmitted.

Alexander Graham Bell continued helping deaf people throughout his life, and was able to watch as the telephone network grew immensely. Some people think it was his only invention, but in fact, he also invented the hydrofoil, a boat raised on platforms to cut down on surface friction, hence greater speed. Bell died in Canada, in 1922 aged 75.

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