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Biography of Alexander Graham Bell

Photo  of Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist and inventor known for his work on the telephone.

When and Where was Alexander Graham Bell Born?

3rd March 1847, 16 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Family Background:

Alexander Graham Bell was the second of three sons of Alexander Melville Bell and Elise Grace Symonds Bell noted elocutionists. His mother was deaf.

Education:

Royal High School, Edinburgh. Edinburgh University. University College, London.

Timeline of Alexander Graham Bell:

Bell first took up teaching and then went on to medical studies.

1871: He emigrates to the United States of America where he studied sound waves with Hermann von Helmholtz. He set up a training school for the deaf in Boston, Massachusetts.

1873: Alexander Graham Bell becomes Professor of Vocal Physiology at Boston University.

1875: The first transmission of sound is heard by Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson on 2nd June.

1876: Patent No 174,465 for the telephone is granted on 7th March. On 10th March “Mr Watson, come here I want you” are the first words heard over copper wires. He demonstrates his one way voice transmission system at the Philadelphia Centennial exposition on June 25th. The first two way telephone conversation between Bell and Watson is held on 9th October.

1877: Alexander Graham Bell forms the Bell telephone Company on 9th July. He marries Mabel Hubbard. (Mabel was also deaf).

1878: Birth of his daughter Elsie May.

1879: Bell invents the audiometer which tests schoolchildren for deafness.

1880: Birth of his daughter Marion (known as Daisy). The bell Telephone Company is restructured to become American Telephone and Telegraph (ATandT). He establishes the Volta Laboratory and invents the photophone.

1883: He opens a school in Washington, ostensibly for deaf children although any child is accepted. He founds the Journal “Science”

1885: The school closes because of shortage of money due to patents claims ranged against him.

1887: Bell is introduced to the blind girl Helen Keller. He invents the Graphophone.

1888: Bell is a founder member of the National Geographic Society.

1890: He conducts the first nationwide survey of deafness.

1891: Bell begins experiments in flight at Cape Breton, Canada.

1894: He develops wings and propellers.

1898: Bell experiments with kites. He becomes President of the National Geographic Society of America.

1901: First flight of his box kite.

1906: Bell begins to work on the hydrofoil instead of the aeroplane.

1907: Thomas Selfridge unsuccessfully pilots one of his kites, Cygnet 1.

1915: The first transcontinental telephone conversation is held on the 25th January between Alexander Graham Bell in New York and Watson in San Francisco.

1919: Bell sets a world speed record of 70 mph with the HD4 hydrofoil.

When and Where did he Die?

2nd August 1922, Beinn Bhreag, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada of complications from diabetes. 

Age at Death:

75.

Marriage:

1877 to Mabel Hubbard. (Mabel was also deaf) (died 1923).

Site of Grave:

Beinn Bhreag Estate, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

Places of Interest:

Edinburgh:

Royal High School.

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