Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 3 March, 1847. The inventor of the first working telephone, Bell was also a scientist and a teacher.
The American-Scottish inventor was interested in a number of fields including aviation, acoustics and communication. Bell also worked for the betterment of hearing-impaired people to help them communicate better.
The inventor was also the founder of the Bell Telephone Company.
On the inventor’s birth anniversary, here are some facts about Alexander Graham Bell:
- Bell’s mother Eliza was almost deaf and his father Alexander Melville Bell was an elocution teacher to the deaf. This influenced Bell’s choice to work as a teacher at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes.
- The inventor's wife was also deaf, and inspired Bell’s work in the field of acoustics. Bell was keen to work on how sound was transmitted through waves so that he could assist his family members communicate better with each other.
- The inventor’s middle name ‘Graham’ was given to him as a birthday present when Bell turned 11 years old.
- The inventor’s family immigrated to Canada in 1870. Bell later moved to Boston in the United States to begin his career as a teacher.
- Bell was not the only person to create a working telephone. Inventor Elisha Gray also invented the telephone on the same day as bell. However, Bell beat Gray by registering the patent just hours earlier.
- The inventor had to face over 600 lawsuits after he filed the patent for the telephone.
- The first telephone call in history was made by Bell to his assistant Thomas A Watson on 10 March, 1876. Bell said the words “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you,” in the phone call, according to what he described in his notes.
- Alexander Graham Bell made several other inventions such as the electrical bell probe to find bullets lodged inside the body. He also improved the design of the phonograph and even worked on propeller blade designs.
- He was a founding member of the National Geographic Society and served as its president from 1989 to 1903. Bell was also an ardent supporter of the journal Science, which was the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s official publication.
- Bell also knew Helen Keller’s father and was instrumental in finding Keller’s tutor Anne Sullivan.
- When he died on 2 August, 1922, all telephones in USA and Canada were suspended for a minute as a mark of respect, according to a News18 report.
- To honour Bell’s contribution to the scientific community, the standard unit for the intensity of sound waves was named bel in his memory.