Order ticket
news

ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL

Alexander Graham Bell was born in the Scottish city of Edinburgh, March 3, 1847.

It seems that the fate of this man was predestined initially by his name. Bell was to become the most famous inventor of the telephone.

His grandfather and uncle were professional rhetoricians. His father, Melville Bell, invented a system of Visible Speech, in which speech sounds were designated by written symbols. It was no wonder, then, that after having already graduated at the age of 13 from the Royal School in Edinburgh, Alexander was only 16 years old when he was appointed teacher of rhetoric and music at the Weston House Academy. In 1865, Bell moved to London, worked as an assistant to his father, a professor of rhetoric at the University of London. In 1870, Alexander and his family moved to Canada and later appeared in Boston where, in 1871-73 he worked at the school for the deaf. From 1873, he became Professor of Physiology of Speech at Boston University.

World wide fame came to Alexander Graham Bell with the invention of a device, which could transmit the sound of the human voice over a distance. But here providence and luck helped him. History is full of information about the telephone's prototype, created long before Bell's contribution. There were the inventions of C. Page, S. Bursel, A. Meucci, F. Reis, etc. But it was Bell who was lauded the most.

The paradox is that Bell made his discovery almost by accident because he was trying, not to invent a telephone, but a harmonic telegraph capable of transmitting seven (the number of musical notes) telegrams over a single wire simultaneously.
Another interesting fact: even after great applause in his honor, Bell admitted: "I invented the telephone thanks to my ignorance of electrical engineering. No one person, who has at least an elementary acquaintance with electrotechnics would have invented the phone." But here he was lucky again: in Boston lived a prominent scientist D. Henry, who was always happy to give sound advice to Bell.

Of course, all these happy accidents in no way diminish the talent and efforts of Alexander Graham Bell, the great scientist and inventor.

On February 14, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell appeared at the Washington Western Union office and filed for patent number 174465 for a method and apparatus for telegraphic transmission of the human voice and other sounds by creating electrical oscillations. Just a couple of hours later, with the hope of registering a similar invention was Elisha Gray of Chicago. On March 7, when Bell was granted the patent, Gray began many years of legal battle. But in 1893 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bell.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell successfully presented his product at the World Exhibition in Philadelphia. Through a speaker phone installed in the pavilion, the jury could hear the Danish prince's monologue 'To be or not to be', which was read by Bell himself, situated in another room. It was a sensation.

However, large companies saw little or no prospect in the machine with its very weak (especially long distance) audibility. Bell even attempted to sell his patent to Western Union Company for $100,000 but was refused. However, in late 1879, Western Union changed its attitude towards the invention and signed an agreement  with Bell's partners, which established the Bell Company, the bulk of the shares in which were owned by Bell. After some time, the share-price of the monopoly-company rose to $995!

Having become richer, Alexander Graham Bell continued to work tirelessly. He published over 100 articles and received 30 patents. Bell studied aviation and hydrodynamics, supported talented scientists and inventors and even bred sheep! Among Bell's inventions was a machine for peeling grain, a fonautograph, a photophone, an audiometer, a metal detector, a vacuum pump and much more.

Bell was awarded the A. Volt award, established by Napoleon and promoted to Knight of the Order of Legion of Honor. In 1882, Bell became an American citizen.

On the morning of August 4, 1922 all telephones in the U.S. and Canada were switched off for a moment's silence. America buried Alexander Graham Bell: 13 million handsets were shut off as a tribute to an outstanding scientist.