A&E Biography: Alexander Graham Bell

1 Jul

-1876 “Mr Watson, come here, I want to see you.”  First words spoken on a telephone.

-March 3, 1847 born in Edenburough, Scotland

-home school by hearing impaired mother til age 11.

-she taught piano too

-father = overbearing, and valued speech pronunciation (construction of speech)

-Graham liked to be alone, good problem-solver, head-strong

-invented corn husking machine @ 9y.o.

-moved in w/G-Pa @ 15y.o.

-Elgan, Scotland teaching job taken @ 16y.o. (he looked older than his age)

-visible speech (phonetics)

-artificial speech interest–challenged his brothers to make machines

-both bros died of tuberculosis

-July 21, 1870 remaining family moved to Canada

-Melleville (his father) was offered teaching job @ deaf school

-Alexander Bell accepted the position so father could keep promoting visible speech.

-Bell liked MA scholar

-Georgie Sanders & Mable Hubbard were his students.  Their father became Bell’s financial backers.

-competition for Western Union Telegraph, b/c Bell though different freq could carry more than 1 message at once.

-intense competition when developing harmonic telegraph.

-Needed more rapid communication, & mult messages

-Phonotograph by French inventor @ MIT science fair inspired Bell to make his own using a dead man’s ear bones.

-1874 telephone was conceived this way.

-His backer wanted Bell, to work on the harmonic telegraph though, and time was imperative b/c of many competitors.

-Watson brought on to become a (motivational) partner.  He was better @ building and electric things.

-Bell realized current should be undulating, not stable, and phone arose.

-Bell fell in love w/Mable Hubbard.  Her parents disapproved b/c of his class and older age.

-on Thanksgiving 1975, parents finally blessed the couple.

-Bell put off filling a patent, until Gray was talking about getting it.

-Watson secretly filed a patent for the telephone, and hours later Gray applied for the same patent.

-No one but Bell saw potential in the telephone.  No publicity.

-Bell used public demonstrations.

-Bell was a superb speaker and astonished crowds.

-Oct 1876 Watson and Bell had first 2 way phone convo.

-first phone line b/w Bells home and boss Charles Williams.

-July 11, 1877 Bell married Mable Hubbard

-Elsie May (daughter) born May 8, 1878

-driven by fear majority of his life would be anticlimactic.

-1870’s = the first telephone directories published

-Elisha Gray contested the validity of Bell’s telephone patent.

-longest patent litigation in U.S. history

-a letter from Gray to Bell acknowledged that Bell had idea.

-true passion for educating the deaf.

-wanted to mainstream deaf community

-taught speech articulation, believed in day schools for deaf in order to integrate deaf into society

-Edward Galladet believed in signing and opposed Bell’s theories

-Bell started and funded a school that eventually failed.

-1880, Marion born

-1881 & 1883 two male children died.

-vacuum jacket then invented by Bell to help people breathe–a forerunner to iron lung.

-photophone invented by Bell, and nothing ever came of it

-Bell invented bullet probe on short notice to help save President Garfield’s life after being shot, and was precursor to x-ray technology

-telephone complained about by Mark Twain.

-net worth of 1 million in the 1800s

-1892 first call from NY to Chicago

-Bell got interested in kites and thought human flight might be possible.

-founded association for deaf named after him

-Bell introduced to Helen Keller and arranged for Ann Sullivan to become her personal teacher.

-National Geographic (started by father-in-law) supported financially by Bell

-Natl Geo supported adventurers, and was focused on pics

-Bell inspired by Wright Bros, and assembled 4 engineers to form Arial Experiment Association

-Bell drew pics, engineers made a plane on March 12, 1908

-first public demonstration for flight.

-1908 June Bug & Silver Dart had 3 wheel landing gears and rudders, which stayed w/aviation

-Bell won trophy for aviation

-strength to weight ratio of kites helped tetrahedral construction

-conducted genetic experiments on sheep, which could predict wool color for breeding

-Maria Montsourri’s views of teaching accepted by Bell

-he became her primary backer, built a building, and enrolled his grand-kids in her school

-hydrofoil invented by Bell (70y.o.) and Casey and set world speed record that stood for 10 years.

-Helen Kellar’s book had note to Bell, which was his proudest accolade.

-Bell died in 1922, and Mable died a few months later

-Bell Labs pioneer fiber-optics today

-Photoacoustics pioneered by Bell.  Used today to enable diabetics to monitor blood sugar.



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