Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist, inventor, and engineer born in Scotland. He has made contributions in the fields of telecommunications, aeronautics, and hydrofoils. Aside from his scientific achievements, Bell is also known for his work with the deaf.

His wife and mother were both deaf, and they influenced Bellís work to a great extent. His father, brother, and grandfather were all interested in elocution and speech. Bell himself conducted research on speech and hearing, which eventually led to experimentation with hearing devices. The most famous of them led to the first patent on the telephone filed in 1876. Bell graduated from U of TO. After moving to England in 1867 he came back to Canada in 1870.

Bellís father was invited by the Boston School for Deaf Mutes in Boston in order to train instructors in a system for visible speech. He declined the position and chose to send his son instead. Bell travelled to the school in 1871 and was successful in conducting the training. The program was duplicated at the Massachusetts-based Clarke School for the Deaf and the Hartfordís American Asylum for Deaf-Mutes in Hartford, Connecticut. Bellís time line shows that he moved to Canada with his brotherís widow and his parents in 1870.

After 6 months abroad, Alexander Bell continued to experiment with the telegraph. The device worked by sending messages through a single wire and by using different pitches. In order to function properly, the invention needed both a transmitter and a receiver. Bell eventually made his way back to Boston and started teaching. With the help of his father, he started a private practice. He opened the School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech, and it was successful in attracting a large population of deaf pupils.

Bell believed, similar to other influential people at the time, that deafness was something that should be eradicated. He also thought that with sufficient resources and effort, the deaf could be taught how to speak without the use of the sign language. He became a professor at the School of Oratory to the Boston University. He continued doing research on sound and sought to find ways to transmit sound and speech.

Eventually, Bell concentrated his efforts on sound. He gave up his Boston practice and retained only two students, Georgie Sanders and Mabel Hubbard. Georgieís father, a wealthy businessman, became his friend and benefactor. Bell eventually married Mabel, and the family had four children.

The telephone became Bellís most well-known invention. However, it was often challenged in court. Over 18 years, the company was involved in over 600 lawsuits related to the rights over the telephone invention. No one was ever successful in disputing the original patent filed by Bell.

Alexander Bell died from diabetes at the age of 75, on August 2, 1922. Throughout his long life, Bell received many honors such as numerous honorary degrees. Many educational institutes and scholarships are named after him. Bell is ranked as one of the 10 greatest Scottish scientists in history and is one of the listed scientists in the National Library of Scotlandís Scottish Science Hall of Fame.