Early History

Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Scotland. Bell’s mother, Eliza Symonds Bell, was almost deaf. This disability led Alexander to an interest in helping deaf people. He became a teacher for deaf children in London. In 1870, Alexander and his parents moved to Ontario. A few years later, Alexander Graham Bell moved to Boston. Once there, Bell started a school. During this time, he also began working on a multiple telegraph. The multiple telegraph never succeeded, but Bell used what he learned for other inventions.

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    Alexander Graham Bell

    Alexander Graham Bell was an inventor at heart, beginning his exploration of innovation while he was still a boy. Bell invented a speaking robot while he was a child, and he continued to work on new inventions throughout his life.

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    Bell’s Telephone

    Alexander Graham Bell had a personal interest in helping the deaf, because his mother was almost completely deaf. This focus led him in the direction of inventing the telephone.

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    The Influence of Alexander Graham Bell

    Alexander Graham Bell had an impact on the education of deaf children, because he supported oral education to teach them.

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    Alexander Graham Bell Virtual Museum

    Although Bell began his professional career as a teacher for the deaf, he soon switched his focus to inventing.

The Invention of the Telephone

While living and working in Boston, Alexander Graham Bell began to focus on the possibility of sending voice messages over wires. Bell worked with another inventor named Thomas A. Watson, and together they designed the first telephone. People were excited about this invention, and it became popular quickly. In the beginning, people had to shout to be heard over the wires, but Bell continued to work to improve his invention. Within a short time, he improved the telephone so that it could transmit and receive messages without the need for shouting.

Other Pursuits and Inventions

Alexander Graham Bell was interested in more innovations than just the telephone. Bell spent his life working on many different communication inventions. One device created by Bell was the “photophone.” This phone used sunlight to transmit messages. Bell had enough vision to predict that an invention such as the photophone would rival the telephone at some point in the future. The photophone did not succeed, however, because Bell couldn’t resolve connectivity problems that happened on cloudy days. Alexander Graham Bell also invented a metal detector, a recording device, and he was an original founder of the National Geographic Society.