Graham Bell


Graham Bell Essay, Research Paper

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847.

He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was educated there

and at the University of London. He studied under his

grandfather, Alexander Bell, a well known speech teacher.

(Robert V. Bruce, Bell) His mother, Elisa Grace Symonds,

was a portrait painter and a musician. His father,

Alexander Melville, Bell, taught deaf-mutes to speak and

wrote textbooks on correct speech. He invented ?Visible

Speech,? a code of symbols that indicated position of the

throat, tongue, and lips in making sounds. (World Book

Encyclopedia, 1991)

Bell and his brothers helped their father in

demonstrations of Visible Speech, Beginning in 1962. He

also became a student-teacher at West House, a boys school

in Edinburgh, where he taught music and speech for

instruction in other subjects. (World Book Enc. 1991) He

became a full-time teacher after studying for a year at the

University of Edinburgh. Then he studied at the University

of London. (A. G. Bell: Making Connections, 1996)

In 1866, he made experiments to find out how vowel

sounds are produced. He read a book on acoustics by a

German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, he used notes of

electrically driven forks to make vowel sounds. That gave

him the idea of ?telegraphing? even though he had no idea

how to do it. (World Book Enc., 1991)

Bad things started to happen to the family.

Graham?s younger brother died of tuberculosis, and his

older brother died also by the same disease in 1870. The

doctor told his father that Graham was in danger too, but

his father gave up his job and moved to Brantford, Ontario,

Canada, where his father found a healthy climate for them.

He soon recovered in health. (Our Foreign Born Citizens,


In 1972, Bell opened a school for the teachers of

the death. The next year he became a professor at Boston

College. After a while of working on the phone without

much money, he got support in creating the telephone by an

attorney who he met by the man?s daughter who was left deaf

after getting the scarlet measles, his name was Gardiner

Green Hubbard. Graham married her four years later. The

man was a critic of The Western Union Telegraph Company.

When he found out what Graham was trying to do he helped

him.(Wires West, Phil Ault, 1974)

After a while of trying he found out that he didn?t

have enough training but he went to an electrical

instrument-making shop for help. Thomas A.Watson started

helping Bell. They became close friends. He helped

improve the telegraph before creating the telephone. He

developed the ?harmonic telegraph? which could send more

than one message at a time over a single telegraph wire.(

A. G. Bell: Making Connections, 1996) In 1875, he had

produced the first recognizable voice-like sounds.

In 1876, while testing, Graham spilled acid near

the telephone transmitter and called in the famous words

?Mr. Watson, come here; I want you? he forgot about it in

the excitement of the invention .

On his twenty-ninth birthday he received the patent

securing his rights as inventor of the telephone.(Our

Foreign Born Citizens, Annie E. S. Beard, 1955)

French government awarded Bell the Volta Prize of

50,000 francs in 1880 for the invention of the telephone.

The money was used to establish the Volta Laboratory for

research, invention, and work for the deaf. There he

developed the method of making phonograph records on wax

discs. In 1890, Bell founded and financed the American

Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf.

It is now called Alexander Graham Bell Association for the

Deaf). (World Book Enc., 1991)

He later experimented with a means to detect metal

in wounds. And with a vacuum-jacket respirator that led to

the making of the iron lung.(Robert V. Bruce, 1973) He

helped bring Thomas A. Edisons phonograph to commercial

practicality and started experimenting with hydrofoil boats

and airplanes. (Wires West, Phil Ault, 1974) He was so

interested in flying in his life, that he helped finance

American scientist Samuel P. Langley?s experiments with

heavier-than-air machines. He conducted a series of

experiments with kites capable of lifting a person into the

air. In 1907, he helped organize the Aerial Experiment

Association, which worked with advanced aviation. He also

contributed to the establishment of Science magazine and

helped organize the National Geographic Society. (Our

Foreign Born Citizens, Annie E.S. Beard, 1955)

He became a U.S. citizen in 1882, but spent most of

his life at his estate on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

He died August 2, 1922, at his house.

Alexander Graham Bell was very important to U.S. history

because he helped communications get easier. Alexander

Graham Bell was important to American history because he

allowed people from great distances to relay important

information to each other in actual time. This eliminated

many useless and otherwise time-consuming ways of

communication such as writing letters through the U.S. mail

and having to wait at least a month for a reply. He was

also an influence in the teaching of the hearing and

speaking impaired.

If it weren?t for the support of Bell in many of

the experiments of that time many inventions might have

never been made like the tests on aviation. If it weren?t

for his inventions life as we know it now may have never

existed. Imagine, we would have never been able to trade

effectively, and World War I we would know about it too

late to be able to do something about it. And then if we

did, during World War II, Hitler may have been able to take

over Europe without no one here knowing about it. Then by

the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor they might of

already been attacking without us being ready.

So if you think about it, if it weren?t for him the

world might of been ruled by Hitler or by a communist

leader. We may have never existed if it weren?t for him

but that is taking it a little to far. You can see that

one important thing leads to another important thing and if

something would happen the difference could be disastrous.

Computers, televisions, internet, home shopping, cell

phones, etc. Imagine, you wouldn?t be able to see movies,

would spend more time in going shopping, there would

probably be less things to buy, internet wouldn?t exist and

that is the connection to the world. Cell phone wouldn?t

exist of course, and quick calls to the house would not be


So, the reasons of his importance are impossible to

count because so many things that were effected because of

him. His life is full of creations and teaching the deaf.

He will forever be remebered.


The World Book Encyclopedia, World Book,Chicago IL,1991).

Phil Ault, Wires West: The Story of the Talking wires,

Odd, Mead & Company, NY, 1974)

Annie E. S. Beard, Our Foreign-Born Citizens, Thomas Y.

Crowell Company, NY, (1955)

Robert V. Bruce, Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the

Conquest of solitude, (1973).

Naomi Pasachoff, Alexander Graham Bell: Making

Connections, (1996).

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