Alexander Graham Bell

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Alexander Graham Bell
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{{pp-semi-indef}}{{short description|scientist and inventor known for his work on the telephone}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2019}}{{Use British English|date=September 2013}}

| death_place = Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia, CanadaInventor Engineer a}}}} {{nowrap[Is the following a quote from the source referenced?:] While Bell worked in many scientific, technical, professional and social capacities throughout his life he would remain fondest of his earliest vocation. To the end of his days, when discussing himself, Bell would always add with pride "I am a teacher of the deaf".BOILEAU >FIRST=JOHN TITLE=FASTEST IN THE WORLD: THE SAGA OF CANADA'S REVOLUTIONARY HYDROFOILS PUBLISHER=FORMAC PUBLISHING P=12 REF=HARV, |group="N"}}}}class=nowrap Canada |United States}}Canadian nationality law>British-subject in Canada (1870–1882)United States (1882–1922)class=nowrap University of Edinburgh >University College London}}Invention of the telephone{{thinsp}}{{sup|b}}}}class=nowrap 1883}}  Member of the National Academy of Sciences>{{smallerAlbert Medal (Royal Society of Arts)>Albert Medal 1907}}  John Fritz Medal 1912}}  Elliott Cresson Medal}}Mabel Hubbard1922}}class=nowrap Alexander Melville Bell >Eliza Grace Symonds Bell}}| signature = Alexander Graham Bell (signature).svgc}}| relatives ={{Unbulleted list |class=nowrapGardiner Greene Hubbard>Gardiner G. Hubbard {{small|(father-in-law)}}David Charles Bell (academic)>David C. Bell {{small|(uncle)}}Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor>Gilbert H. Grosvenor {{small|(son-in-law)}}David Fairchild {{small>(son-in-law)}}Melville Bell Grosvenor {{small>(grandson)}}Mabel Harlakenden Grosvenor>Mabel Grosvenor {{small|(granddaughter)}}Graham Fairchild>A. Graham Bell Fairchild {{small|(grandson)}}Gilbert Melville Grosvenor>Gilbert Grosvenor {{small|(great-grandson)}}Edwin S. Grosvenor>Edwin Grosvenor {{small|(great-grandson)}}Chichester Bell {{small>(cousin)}}}}pos=center filename=Alexander Graham Bell speaking.ogg Bell's voice}}{{thinsp}}HTTPS://SPECTRUM.IEEE.ORG/TECH-HISTORY/DAWN-OF-ELECTRONICS/PARTICLE-PHYSICS-RESURRECTS-ALEXANDER-GRAHAM-BELLS-VOICE>TITLE=PARTICLE PHYSICS RESURRECTS ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL'S VOICEIEEE SPECTRUM >ACCESSDATE=MAY 10, 2018type=speech Volta Laboratory and Bureau#Bell's voice>Re-identified in 2013, Bell made this wax-disc recording of his voice in 1885.}}{{supBoston University (see #Continuing experimentation>below). b}} See #Telephone. >{{sup|c}} Two died soon after birth.}}}}Alexander Graham Bell ('Graham' pronounced {{IPAc-en|ˈ|É¡|ɹ|eɪ|.|É™|m}}) (March 3, 1847 â€“ August 2, 1922)WEB,weblink The Bell Family, Bell Homestead National Historic Site, September 27, 2013, was a Scottish-born{{refn|Bell was a British subject for most of his early life. When he moved to Canada in 1870, Canadian and British citizenship were functionally identical, with Canadian citizenship only becoming a formal classification in 1910. He applied for American citizenship after 1877, gained it in 1882, and referred to himself as an American citizen from that point on. Quote from Bell speaking to his wife: "you are a citizen because you can't help it – you were born one, but I chose to be one."{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=228}} Aside from Bell's own view of his citizenship, many, if not most Canadians considered him also as one of theirs as evidenced in an address by the Governor General of Canada. On October 24, 1917, in Brantford, Ontario, the Governor General spoke at the unveiling of the Bell Telephone Memorial to an audience numbering in the thousands, saying: "Dr. Bell is to be congratulated upon being able to receive the recognition of his fellow citizens and fellow countrymen".BOOK, Reville, F. Douglas,weblink History of the County of Brant: Illustrated With Fifty Half-Tones Taken From Miniatures And Photographs, Brantford Historical Society & Hurley Printing, Brantford, Ontario, 1920, 319, May 4, 2012, harv, |group=N}} scientist, inventor, engineer, and innovator who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.Bruce 1990, p. 291.{{Full citation needed|date=February 2014}}Pizer 2009, pp. 120–124. Bruce 1990, p. 291{{Full citation needed|date=February 2014}}Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's work.BOOK, Bruce, Robert V.,weblink Bell: Alexander Bell and the Conquest of Solitude, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1990, 419, 978-0-8014-9691-2, harv, His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876.{{refn|From {{harvp|Black|1997|p=18}}: "He thought he could harness the new electronic technology by creating a machine with a transmitter and receiver that would send sounds telegraphically to help people hear."|group=N}} Bell considered his invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.BOOK, MacLeod, Elizabeth, Alexander Graham Bell: An Inventive Life, Toronto, Ontario, Kids Can Press, 1999, 19, 978-1-55074-456-9, harv, {{refn|After Bell's death his wife Mabel wrote to John J. Carty, an AT&T vice-president, and commented on her husband's reluctance to have a phone in his study, saying "[of the statements in the newspapers] ...publishing of Mr. Bell's dislike of the telephone. Of course, he never had one in his study. That was where he went when he wanted to be alone with his thoughts and his work. The telephone, of course, means intrusion by the outside world. And the little difficulties and delays often attending the establishment of conversation... did irritate him, so that as a rule he preferred having others send and receive messages. But all really important business over the telephone he transacted himself. There are few private houses more completely equipped with telephones than ours... and there was nothing that Mr. Bell was more particular about than our telephone service... We never could have come here [to Beinn Bhreagh] in the first place or continued here, but for the telephone which kept us in close touch with doctors and neighbors and the regular telegraph office... Mr. Bell did like to say in fun, "Why did I ever invent the Telephone," but no one had a higher appreciation of its indispensableness or used it more freely when need was—either personally or by deputy —and he was really tremendously proud of it and all it was accomplishing."JOURNAL, Bell, Mabel, Dr. Bell's Appreciation of the Telephone Service, Bell Telephone Quarterly, 1, 3, October 1922, 65,weblink September 18, 2015, |group=N}}Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. Although Bell was not one of the 33 foundersWEB,weblink National Geographic founders, January 9, 2014, National Geographic Society, of the National Geographic Society, he had a strong influence on the magazine while serving as the second president from January 7, 1898, until 1903.WEB,weblink NGS Celebrates 23rd Founders Day, Howley, Andrew, May 26, 2011, NGS, National Geographic Society, January 18, 2016, Though he wasn't one of the original 33 founders, Bell had a major influence on the Society.,

Early life

Alexander Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847.BOOK, Petrie, A. Roy, Alexander Graham Bell, Don Mills, Ontario, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1975, 4, 978-0-88902-209-6, harv, The family home was at South Charlotte Street, and has a stone inscription marking it as Alexander Graham Bell's birthplace. He had two brothers: Melville James Bell (1845–1870) and Edward Charles Bell (1848–1867), both of whom would die of tuberculosis."Time Line of Alexander Graham Bell." memory.loc.goiv. Retrieved: July 28, 2010. {{webarchive |url= |date=October 24, 2005 }} His father was Professor Alexander Melville Bell, a phonetician, and his mother was Eliza Grace (née Symonds).NEWS, Alexander M. Bell Dead. Father of Prof. A. G. Bell Developed Sign Language for Mutes,weblink New York Times, August 8, 1905, September 18, 2015, Born as just "Alexander Bell", at age 10, he made a plea to his father to have a middle name like his two brothers.WEB,weblink Call me Alexander Graham Bell, The Franklin Institute, February 24, 2015, January 14, 2014, {{refn| Bell typically signed his name in full on his correspondence.|group=N}} For his 11th birthday, his father acquiesced and allowed him to adopt the name "Graham", chosen out of respect for Alexander Graham, a Canadian being treated by his father who had become a family friend.BOOK, Groundwater, Jennifer, Alexander Graham Bell: The Spirit of Invention, Calgary, Alberta, Altitude Publishing, 2005, 23, 978-1-55439-006-9, harv, To close relatives and friends he remained "Aleck".{{sfn|Bruce|1990|pp=17–19}}

First invention

As a child, young Bell displayed a natural curiosity about his world, resulting in gathering botanical specimens as well as experimenting even at an early age. His best friend was Ben Herdman, a neighbour whose family operated a flour mill, the scene of many forays. Young Bell asked what needed to be done at the mill. He was told wheat had to be dehusked through a laborious process and at the age of 12, Bell built a homemade device that combined rotating paddles with sets of nail brushes, creating a simple dehusking machine that was put into operation and used steadily for a number of years.{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=16}} In return, Ben's father John Herdman gave both boys the run of a small workshop in which to "invent".{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=16}}From his early years, Bell showed a sensitive nature and a talent for art, poetry, and music that was encouraged by his mother. With no formal training, he mastered the piano and became the family's pianist.{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=8}} Despite being normally quiet and introspective, he revelled in mimicry and "voice tricks" akin to ventriloquism that continually entertained family guests during their occasional visits.{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=8}} Bell was also deeply affected by his mother's gradual deafness (she began to lose her hearing when he was 12), and learned a manual finger language so he could sit at her side and tap out silently the conversations swirling around the family parlour.{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=9}} He also developed a technique of speaking in clear, modulated tones directly into his mother's forehead wherein she would hear him with reasonable clarity.BOOK, Mackay, James, Sounds Out of Silence: A life of Alexander Graham Bell, Edinburgh, UK, Mainstream Publishing, 1997, 25, 978-1-85158-833-6, harv, Bell's preoccupation with his mother's deafness led him to study acoustics.His family was long associated with the teaching of elocution: his grandfather, Alexander Bell, in London, his uncle in Dublin, and his father, in Edinburgh, were all elocutionists. His father published a variety of works on the subject, several of which are still well known, especially his The Standard Elocutionist (1860),{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=8}} which appeared in Edinburgh in 1868. The Standard Elocutionist appeared in 168 British editions and sold over a quarter of a million copies in the United States alone. In this treatise, his father explains his methods of how to instruct deaf-mutes (as they were then known) to articulate words and read other people's lip movements to decipher meaning. Bell's father taught him and his brothers not only to write Visible Speech but to identify any symbol and its accompanying sound.{{sfn|Petrie|1975|p=7}} Bell became so proficient that he became a part of his father's public demonstrations and astounded audiences with his abilities. He could decipher Visible Speech representing virtually every language, including Latin, Scottish Gaelic, and even Sanskrit, accurately reciting written tracts without any prior knowledge of their pronunciation.{{sfn|Petrie|1975|p=7}}{{Commons category|Alexander_Graham_Bell#Earlier_photos_of_Bell.27s_ancestral_family|a young Bell with his parents}}


As a young child, Bell, like his brothers, received his early schooling at home from his father. At an early age, he was enrolled at the Royal High School, Edinburgh, Scotland, which he left at the age of 15, having completed only the first four forms.{{sfn|Mackay|1997|p=31}} His school record was undistinguished, marked by absenteeism and lacklustre grades. His main interest remained in the sciences, especially biology while he treated other school subjects with indifference, to the dismay of his demanding father.{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=11}} Upon leaving school, Bell travelled to London to live with his grandfather, Alexander Bell. During the year he spent with his grandfather, a love of learning was born, with long hours spent in serious discussion and study. The elder Bell took great efforts to have his young pupil learn to speak clearly and with conviction, the attributes that his pupil would need to become a teacher himself.BOOK, Town, Florida, Alexander Graham Bell, Toronto, Ontario, Grolier, 1988, 7, 978-0-7172-1950-6, harv, At the age of 16, Bell secured a position as a "pupil-teacher" of elocution and music, in Weston House Academy at Elgin, Moray, Scotland. Although he was enrolled as a student in Latin and Greek, he instructed classes himself in return for board and £10 per session.{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=37}} The following year, he attended the University of Edinburgh; joining his older brother Melville who had enrolled there the previous year. In 1868, not long before he departed for Canada with his family, Bell completed his matriculation exams and was accepted for admission to University College London.BOOK, Shulman, Seth, The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Bell's Secret, New York, Norton & Company, 2008, 49, 978-0-393-06206-9, harv,

First experiments with sound

His father encouraged Bell's interest in speech and, in 1863, took his sons to see a unique automaton developed by Sir Charles Wheatstone based on the earlier work of Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=25}} The rudimentary "mechanical man" simulated a human voice. Bell was fascinated by the machine and after he obtained a copy of von Kempelen's book, published in German, and had laboriously translated it, he and his older brother Melville built their own automaton head. Their father, highly interested in their project, offered to pay for any supplies and spurred the boys on with the enticement of a "big prize" if they were successful.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=25}} While his brother constructed the throat and larynx, Bell tackled the more difficult task of recreating a realistic skull. His efforts resulted in a remarkably lifelike head that could "speak", albeit only a few words.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=25}} The boys would carefully adjust the "lips" and when a bellows forced air through the windpipe, a very recognizable "Mama" ensued, to the delight of neighbours who came to see the Bell invention.{{sfn|Petrie|1975|pp=7–9}}Intrigued by the results of the automaton, Bell continued to experiment with a live subject, the family's Skye Terrier, "Trouve".{{sfn|Petrie|1975|p=9}} After he taught it to growl continuously, Bell would reach into its mouth and manipulate the dog's lips and vocal cords to produce a crude-sounding "Ow ah oo ga ma ma". With little convincing, visitors believed his dog could articulate "How are you, grandma?" Indicative of his playful nature, his experiments convinced onlookers that they saw a "talking dog".{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=30}} These initial forays into experimentation with sound led Bell to undertake his first serious work on the transmission of sound, using tuning forks to explore resonance.At age 19, Bell wrote a report on his work and sent it to philologist Alexander Ellis, a colleague of his father (who would later be portrayed as Professor Henry Higgins in Pygmalion).{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=30}} Ellis immediately wrote back indicating that the experiments were similar to existing work in Germany, and also lent Bell a copy of Hermann von Helmholtz's work, The Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music.{{sfn|Shulman|2008|p=46}}Dismayed to find that groundbreaking work had already been undertaken by Helmholtz who had conveyed vowel sounds by means of a similar tuning fork "contraption", Bell pored over the German scientist's book. Working from his own erroneous mistranslation of a French edition, Bell fortuitously then made a deduction that would be the underpinning of all his future work on transmitting sound, reporting: "Without knowing much about the subject, it seemed to me that if vowel sounds could be produced by electrical means, so could consonants, so could articulate speech." He also later remarked: "I thought that Helmholtz had done it ... and that my failure was due only to my ignorance of electricity. It was a valuable blunder ... If I had been able to read German in those days, I might never have commenced my experiments!"BOOK, MacKenzie, Catherine, Catherine MacKenzie,weblink Alexander Graham Bell, Boston, Massachusetts, Grosset and Dunlap, 2003, 1928, 41, 978-0-7661-4385-2, harv, {{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=31}}{{sfn|Shulman|2008|pp=46–48}}{{refn| Helmholtz's The Sensations of Tone is credited with inspiring Bell, at the age of 23, to further his studies of electricity and electromagnetism.|group=N}}

Family tragedy

In 1865, when the Bell family moved to London,BOOK, Micklos, John Jr., Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor of the Telephone, New York, HarperCollins, 2006, 8, 978-0-06-057618-9, harv, Bell returned to Weston House as an assistant master and, in his spare hours, continued experiments on sound using a minimum of laboratory equipment. Bell concentrated on experimenting with electricity to convey sound and later installed a telegraph wire from his room in Somerset College to that of a friend.{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=45}} Throughout late 1867, his health faltered mainly through exhaustion. His younger brother, Edward "Ted," was similarly bed-ridden, suffering from tuberculosis. While Bell recovered (by then referring to himself in correspondence as "A. G. Bell") and served the next year as an instructor at Somerset College, Bath, England, his brother's condition deteriorated. Edward would never recover. Upon his brother's death, Bell returned home in 1867. His older brother Melville had married and moved out. With aspirations to obtain a degree at University College London, Bell considered his next years as preparation for the degree examinations, devoting his spare time at his family's residence to studying.Helping his father in Visible Speech demonstrations and lectures brought Bell to Susanna E. Hull's private school for the deaf in South Kensington, London. His first two pupils were deaf-mute girls who made remarkable progress under his tutelage. While his older brother seemed to achieve success on many fronts including opening his own elocution school, applying for a patent on an invention, and starting a family, Bell continued as a teacher. However, in May 1870, Melville died from complications due to tuberculosis, causing a family crisis. His father had also suffered a debilitating illness earlier in life and had been restored to health by a convalescence in Newfoundland. Bell's parents embarked upon a long-planned move when they realized that their remaining son was also sickly. Acting decisively, Alexander Melville Bell asked Bell to arrange for the sale of all the family property,{{sfn|Bruce|1990|pp=67–28}}{{refn|The family pet was given to his brother's family.|group=N}} conclude all of his brother's affairs (Bell took over his last student, curing a pronounced lisp),{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=68}} and join his father and mother in setting out for the "New World". Reluctantly, Bell also had to conclude a relationship with Marie Eccleston, who, as he had surmised, was not prepared to leave England with him.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=33}}


File:The Bell Homestead National Historic Site, Brantford, Ontario, Canada, incl. Visitor Ctr, Henderson Home, Carriage House and Dreaming Place IMG 0039 09.JPG|thumb|Melville House, the Bells' first home in North America, now a National Historic Site of Canada ]]In 1870, 23-year-old Bell travelled with his parents and his brother's widow, Caroline Margaret Ottaway,{{sfn|Mackay|1997|p=50}} to Paris, Ontario,{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=21}} to stay with the Reverend Thomas Henderson, a family friend. The Bell family soon purchased a farm of {{convert|10.5|acre|m2}} at Tutelo Heights (now called Tutela Heights), near Brantford, Ontario. The property consisted of an orchard, large farmhouse, stable, pigsty, hen-house, and a carriage house, which bordered the Grand River.{{sfn|Mackay|1997|p=61}}{{refn| The estate, dating from 1858, is in the present day located at 94 Tutela Heights Road, Brantford, and is now known as the "Bell Homestead", and formally as the Bell Homestead National Historic Site of Canada. It received its historical designation from the Government of Canada on June 1, 1996.{{CRHP|12773|Bell Homestead National Historic Site of Canada|September 17, 2015}}|group=N}}At the homestead, Bell set up his own workshop in the converted carriage house near to what he called his "dreaming place",BOOK, Wing, Chris, Alexander Graham Bell at Baddeck, Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Christopher King, 1980, 10, harv, a large hollow nestled in trees at the back of the property above the river.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=34}} Despite his frail condition upon arriving in Canada, Bell found the climate and environs to his liking, and rapidly improved.{{sfn|Mackay|1997|p=62}}{{refn| Bell would later write that he had come to Canada a "dying man".|group=N}} He continued his interest in the study of the human voice and when he discovered the Six Nations Reserve across the river at Onondaga, he learned the Mohawk language and translated its unwritten vocabulary into Visible Speech symbols. For his work, Bell was awarded the title of Honorary Chief and participated in a ceremony where he donned a Mohawk headdress and danced traditional dances.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=35}}{{refn|Bell was thrilled at his recognition by the Six Nations Reserve and throughout his life would launch into a Mohawk war dance when he was excited.|group=N}}After setting up his workshop, Bell continued experiments based on Helmholtz's work with electricity and sound.{{Sfn|Wing|1980|p=10}} He also modified a melodeon (a type of pump organ) so that it could transmit its music electrically over a distance.NEWS, Waldie, Jean H., Historic Melodeon Is Given To Bell Museum, likely published either by the London Free Press or by the Brantford Expositor, date unknown, Once the family was settled in, both Bell and his father made plans to establish a teaching practice and in 1871, he accompanied his father to Montreal, where Melville was offered a position to teach his System of Visible Speech.

Work with the deaf

File:Bell at the Pemberton Avenue School for the Deaf, Boston, from the Library of Congress. 00837v.jpg|thumb|Bell, top right, providing pedagogical instruction to teachers at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes, 1871. Throughout his life, he referred to himself as "a teacher of the deaf".]]{{Commons category|Alexander_Graham_Bell#Alexander_Graham_Bell_-General_photos_with_other_people_or_groups|the Scott Circle School for Deaf Children}}Bell's father was invited by Sarah Fuller, principal of the Boston School for Deaf Mutes (which continues today as the public Horace Mann School for the Deaf),{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=74}} in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, to introduce the Visible Speech System by providing training for Fuller's instructors, but he declined the post in favour of his son. Travelling to Boston in April 1871, Bell proved successful in training the school's instructors.{{sfn|Town|1988|p=12}} He was subsequently asked to repeat the programme at the American Asylum for Deaf-mutes in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts.Returning home to Brantford after six months abroad, Bell continued his experiments with his "harmonic telegraph".BOOK, Alexander Graham Bell, (booklet), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Limited, 1979, 8, {{sfnRef, Alexander Graham Bell, 1979, }}{{refn|In later years, Bell described the invention of the telephone and linked it to his "dreaming place".|group=N}} The basic concept behind his device was that messages could be sent through a single wire if each message was transmitted at a different pitch, but work on both the transmitter and receiver was needed.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=39}}Unsure of his future, he first contemplated returning to London to complete his studies, but decided to return to Boston as a teacher.{{sfn|Petrie|1975|p=14}} His father helped him set up his private practice by contacting Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the president of the Clarke School for the Deaf for a recommendation. Teaching his father's system, in October 1872, Alexander Bell opened his "School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech" in Boston, which attracted a large number of deaf pupils, with his first class numbering 30 students.{{sfn|Petrie|1975|p=15}}{{sfn|Town|1988|pp=12–13}} While he was working as a private tutor, one of his pupils was Helen Keller, who came to him as a young child unable to see, hear, or speak. She was later to say that Bell dedicated his life to the penetration of that "inhuman silence which separates and estranges".{{sfn|Petrie|1975|p=17}} In 1893, Keller performed the sod-breaking ceremony for the construction of Bell's new Volta Bureau, dedicated to "the increase and diffusion of knowledge relating to the deaf".WEB, Schoenherr, Steven E.,weblink Recording Technology History, Charles Sumner Tainter and the Graphophone, Audio Engineering Society, February 10, 2000, September 19, 2015, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Alexander Graham Bell, Encyclopædia Britannica, David, Hochfelder,weblink July 31, 2015, September 18, 2015, Several influential people of the time, including Bell, viewed deafness as something that should be eradicated, and also believed that with resources and effort, they could teach the deaf to speak and avoid the use of sign language, thus enabling their integration within the wider society from which many were often being excluded.BOOK, Miller, Don, Jan, Branson,weblink Damned For Their Difference: The Cultural Construction Of Deaf People as Disabled: A Sociological History, Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University Press, 2002, 30–31, 152–153, 978-1-56368-121-9, harv, Owing to his efforts to suppress the teaching of sign language, Bell is often viewed negatively by those embracing Deaf culture.BOOK, Ayers, William C., Therese, Quinn, David, Stovall, The Handbook of Social Justice in Education, London, Routledge, 2009, 194–195, 978-0-80585-928-7, harv,

Continuing experimentation

In 1872, Bell became professor of Vocal Physiology and Elocution at the Boston University School of Oratory. During this period, he alternated between Boston and Brantford, spending summers in his Canadian home. At Boston University, Bell was "swept up" by the excitement engendered by the many scientists and inventors residing in the city. He continued his research in sound and endeavored to find a way to transmit musical notes and articulate speech, but although absorbed by his experiments, he found it difficult to devote enough time to experimentation. While days and evenings were occupied by his teaching and private classes, Bell began to stay awake late into the night, running experiment after experiment in rented facilities at his boarding house. Keeping "night owl" hours, he worried that his work would be discovered and took great pains to lock up his notebooks and laboratory equipment. Bell had a specially made table where he could place his notes and equipment inside a locking cover.{{sfn|Town|1988|p=15}} Worse still, his health deteriorated as he suffered severe headaches.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=39}} Returning to Boston in fall 1873, Bell made a fateful decision to concentrate on his experiments in sound.Deciding to give up his lucrative private Boston practice, Bell retained only two students, six-year-old "Georgie" Sanders, deaf from birth, and 15-year-old Mabel Hubbard. Each pupil would play an important role in the next developments. George's father, Thomas Sanders, a wealthy businessman, offered Bell a place to stay in nearby Salem with Georgie's grandmother, complete with a room to "experiment". Although the offer was made by George's mother and followed the year-long arrangement in 1872 where her son and his nurse had moved to quarters next to Bell's boarding house, it was clear that Mr. Sanders was backing the proposal. The arrangement was for teacher and student to continue their work together, with free room and board thrown in.{{sfn|Town|1988|p=16}} Mabel was a bright, attractive girl who was ten years Bell's junior but became the object of his affection. Having lost her hearing after a near-fatal bout of scarlet fever close to her fifth birthday,BOOK, Toward, Lilias M.,weblink Mabel Bell: Alexander's Silent Partner, Toronto, Ontario, Methuen, 1984, 1, 978-0-458-98090-1, harv, BOOK, Dorothy Harley Eber, Eber, Dorothy Harley, Genius at Work: Images of Alexander Graham Bell, Toronto, Ontario, McClelland and Stewart, 1991, 1982, reprint, 43, 978-0-7710-3036-9, harv, {{refn| {{harvp|Eber|1991|p=43}} claimed that Mabel suffered scarlet fever in New York "...shortly before her fifth birthday..."; however, {{harvp|Toward|1984}} provided a detailed chronology of the event claiming "... shortly after their arrival in New York [in January 1863]" when Mabel would have been at least five years and five weeks of age. Mabel's exact age when she became deaf would later play a part in the debate on the effectiveness of manual versus oral education for deaf children, as children who are older at the onset of deafness retain greater vocalization skills and are thus more successful in oral education programs. Some of the debate centred on whether Mabel had to relearn oral speech from scratch, or whether she never lost it.|group=N}} she had learned to read lips but her father, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Bell's benefactor and personal friend, wanted her to work directly with her teacher.BOOK, Dunn, Andrew, Alexander Graham Bell, (Pioneers of Science), East Sussex, UK, Wayland Publishers, 1990, 20, 978-1-85210-958-5, harv,

The telephone

{{external media | width = 210px | float = right | audio1 = Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson, 26:58, CBC ArchivesWEB, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, July 25, 1975,weblink October 14, 2016, }}By 1874, Bell's initial work on the harmonic telegraph had entered a formative stage, with progress made both at his new Boston "laboratory" (a rented facility) and at his family home in Canada a big success.{{refn| From {{harvp|Alexander Graham Bell|1979|p=8}}: "Brantford is justified in calling herself 'The Telephone City' because the telephone originated there. It was invented in Brantford at Tutela Heights in the summer of 1874."|group=N}} While working that summer in Brantford, Bell experimented with a "phonautograph", a pen-like machine that could draw shapes of sound waves on smoked glass by tracing their vibrations. Bell thought it might be possible to generate undulating electrical currents that corresponded to sound waves.BOOK, Matthews, Tom L., Always Inventing: A Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell, Washington, D.C., National Geographic Society, 1999, 19–21, 978-0-7922-7391-2, harv, Bell also thought that multiple metal reeds tuned to different frequencies like a harp would be able to convert the undulating currents back into sound. But he had no working model to demonstrate the feasibility of these ideas.{{sfn|Matthews|1999|p=21}}In 1874, telegraph message traffic was rapidly expanding and in the words of Western Union President William Orton, had become "the nervous system of commerce". Antonio Meucci sent a telephone model and technical details to the Western Union telegraph company but failed to win a meeting with executives. When he asked for his materials to be returned, in 1874, he was told they had been lost. Two years later Bell, who shared a laboratory with Meucci, filed a patent for a telephone, became a celebrity and made a lucrative deal with Western Union. Meucci sued and was nearing victory—the supreme court agreed to hear the case and fraud charges were initiated against Bell—when the Florentine died in 1889. The legal action died with him.Carroll, Rory (June 17, 2002). "Bell did not invent telephone, US rules". the Guardian. Retrieved on September 20, 2018. Orton had contracted with inventors Thomas Edison and Elisha Gray to find a way to send multiple telegraph messages on each telegraph line to avoid the great cost of constructing new lines.JOURNAL, Blaine, McCormick, Paul, Israel,weblink Underrated entrepreneur: Thomas Edison's overlooked business story, IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, 3, 1, 76–79, January–February 2005, {{sfnRef, McCormick, Israel, 2005, |doi=10.1109/MPAE.2005.1380243 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl= |archivedate=December 23, 2009 }} When Bell mentioned to Gardiner Hubbard and Thomas Sanders that he was working on a method of sending multiple tones on a telegraph wire using a multi-reed device, the two wealthy patrons began to financially support Bell's experiments.{{sfn|Town|1988|p=17}} Patent matters would be handled by Hubbard's patent attorney, Anthony Pollok.BOOK, Evenson, A. Edward, The Telephone Patent Conspiracy of 1876: The Elisha Gray â€” Alexander Bell Controversy,weblink Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland Publishing, 2000, 18–25, 978-0-7864-0883-2, harv, In March 1875, Bell and Pollok visited the scientist Joseph Henry, who was then director of the Smithsonian Institution, and asked Henry's advice on the electrical multi-reed apparatus that Bell hoped would transmit the human voice by telegraph. Henry replied that Bell had "the germ of a great invention". When Bell said that he did not have the necessary knowledge, Henry replied, "Get it!" That declaration greatly encouraged Bell to keep trying, even though he did not have the equipment needed to continue his experiments, nor the ability to create a working model of his ideas. However, a chance meeting in 1874 between Bell and Thomas A. Watson, an experienced electrical designer and mechanic at the electrical machine shop of Charles Williams, changed all that.With financial support from Sanders and Hubbard, Bell hired Thomas Watson as his assistant,{{refn| Hubbard's financial support to the research efforts fell far short of the funds needed, necessitating Bell to continue teaching while conducting his experiments.NEWS, Fitzgerald, Brian,weblink Alexander Graham Bell: The BU Years, B.U. Bridge, Boston University, V, 5, September 14, 2001, March 28, 2010, Bell was so short of funds at times that he had to borrow money from his own employee, Thomas Watson. Bell also sought an additional CAD$150 from the former Premier of Canada, George Brown, in exchange for 50% of the patent rights in the British Empire (Brown later retracted his offer to patent the telephone in the U.K. for fear of being ridiculed). The Bell Patent Association, composed of Hubbard, Sanders and Bell and which would become the precursor of the Bell Telephone Company (and later, AT&T), would later assign an approximate 10% interest of its shares to Watson,{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=291}} in lieu of salary and for his earlier financial support to Bell while they worked together creating their first functional telephone.|group=N}} and the two of them experimented with acoustic telegraphy. On June 2, 1875, Watson accidentally plucked one of the reeds and Bell, at the receiving end of the wire, heard the overtones of the reed; overtones that would be necessary for transmitting speech. That demonstrated to Bell that only one reed or armature was necessary, not multiple reeds. This led to the "gallows" sound-powered telephone, which could transmit indistinct, voice-like sounds, but not clear speech.

The race to the patent office

In 1875, Bell developed an acoustic telegraph and drew up a patent application for it. Since he had agreed to share U.S. profits with his investors Gardiner Hubbard and Thomas Sanders, Bell requested that an associate in Ontario, George Brown, attempt to patent it in Britain, instructing his lawyers to apply for a patent in the U.S. only after they received word from Britain (Britain would issue patents only for discoveries not previously patented elsewhere).{{sfn|Bruce|1990|pp=158–159}}(File:TelephonePatentDrawingBell.jpg|thumb|Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patent{{Patent|US|174465|Alexander Graham Bell: "Improvement in Telegraphy" filed on February 14, 1876, granted on March 7, 1876.}} drawing, March 7, 1876)Meanwhile, Elisha Gray was also experimenting with acoustic telegraphy and thought of a way to transmit speech using a water transmitter. On February 14, 1876, Gray filed a caveat with the U.S. Patent Office for a telephone design that used a water transmitter. That same morning, Bell's lawyer filed Bell's application with the patent office. There is considerable debate about who arrived first and Gray later challenged the primacy of Bell's patent. Bell was in Boston on February 14 and did not arrive in Washington until February 26.Bell's patent 174,465, was issued to Bell on March 7, 1876, by the U.S. Patent Office. Bell's patent covered "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically ... by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound"{{Sfn|MacLeod|1999|pp=12–13}}{{refn|A copy of a draft of the patent application is shown, described as "probably the most valuable patent ever."|group=N}} Bell returned to Boston the same day and the next day resumed work, drawing in his notebook a diagram similar to that in Gray's patent caveat.On March 10, 1876, three days after his patent was issued, Bell succeeded in getting his telephone to work, using a liquid transmitter similar to Gray's design. Vibration of the diaphragm caused a needle to vibrate in the water, varying the electrical resistance in the circuit. When Bell spoke the sentence "Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you" into the liquid transmitter,WEB,weblink Alexander Graham Bell - Lab notebook pp. 40–41 (image 22), American Treasures, Library of Congress, July 28, 2010, Watson, listening at the receiving end in an adjoining room, heard the words clearly.{{Sfn|MacLeod|1999|p=12}}Although Bell was, and still is, accused of stealing the telephone from Gray,{{sfn|Shulman|2008|p=211}} Bell used Gray's water transmitter design only after Bell's patent had been granted, and only as a proof of concept scientific experiment,{{sfn|Evenson|2000|p=99}} to prove to his own satisfaction that intelligible "articulate speech" (Bell's words) could be electrically transmitted.{{sfn|Evenson|2000|p=98}} After March 1876, Bell focused on improving the electromagnetic telephone and never used Gray's liquid transmitter in public demonstrations or commercial use.{{sfn|Evenson|2000|p=100}}The question of priority for the variable resistance feature of the telephone was raised by the examiner before he approved Bell's patent application. He told Bell that his claim for the variable resistance feature was also described in Gray's caveat. Bell pointed to a variable resistance device in his previous application in which he described a cup of mercury, not water. He had filed the mercury application at the patent office a year earlier on February 25, 1875, long before Elisha Gray described the water device. In addition, Gray abandoned his caveat, and because he did not contest Bell's priority, the examiner approved Bell's patent on March 3, 1876. Gray had reinvented the variable resistance telephone, but Bell was the first to write down the idea and the first to test it in a telephone.{{sfn|Evenson|2000|pp=81–82}}The patent examiner, Zenas Fisk Wilber, later stated in an affidavit that he was an alcoholic who was much in debt to Bell's lawyer, Marcellus Bailey, with whom he had served in the Civil War. He claimed he showed Gray's patent caveat to Bailey. Wilber also claimed (after Bell arrived in Washington D.C. from Boston) that he showed Gray's caveat to Bell and that Bell paid him $100 ({{Inflation|US|100|1875|r=-2|fmt=eq}}). Bell claimed they discussed the patent only in general terms, although in a letter to Gray, Bell admitted that he learned some of the technical details. Bell denied in an affidavit that he ever gave Wilber any money.NEWS, The Washington Post, Mr. Wilbur "confesses", May 22, 1886, 1,weblink

Later developments

Continuing his experiments in Brantford, Bell brought home a working model of his telephone. On August 3, 1876, from the telegraph office in Mount Pleasant five miles (eight km) away from Brantford, Bell sent a tentative telegram indicating that he was ready. With curious onlookers packed into the office as witnesses, faint voices were heard replying. The following night, he amazed guests as well as his family when a message was received at the Bell home from Brantford, four miles (six km) distant, along an improvised wire strung up along telegraph lines and fences, and laid through a tunnel. This time, guests at the household distinctly heard people in Brantford reading and singing. These experiments clearly proved that the telephone could work over long distances.{{Sfn|MacLeod|1999|p=14}}(File:Alexander Graham Telephone in Newyork.jpg|thumb|Bell at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892)Bell and his partners, Hubbard and Sanders, offered to sell the patent outright to Western Union for $100,000. The president of Western Union balked, countering that the telephone was nothing but a toy. Two years later, he told colleagues that if he could get the patent for $25 million he would consider it a bargain. By then, the Bell company no longer wanted to sell the patent.WEB, Fenster, Julie M., Inventing the Telephone—And Triggering All-Out Patent War, American Heritage,weblink March 7, 2006, March 11, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink September 19, 2015, Bell's investors would become millionaires while he fared well from residuals and at one point had assets of nearly one million dollars.BOOK, Winfield, Richard, Never the Twain Shall Meet: Bell, Gallaudet, and the Communications Debate, Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University Press, 1987, 21, 978-0-913580-99-8, harv, Bell began a series of public demonstrations and lectures to introduce the new invention to the scientific community as well as the general public. A short time later, his demonstration of an early telephone prototype at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia brought the telephone to international attention.BOOK, Webb, Michael, Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor of the Telephone, Mississauga, Ontario, Copp Clark Pitman, 1991, 15, 978-0-7730-5049-5, harv, Influential visitors to the exhibition included Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. Later, Bell had the opportunity to demonstrate the invention personally to Sir William Thomson (later, Lord Kelvin), a renowned Scottish scientist, as well as to Queen Victoria, who had requested a private audience at Osborne House, her Isle of Wight home. She called the demonstration "most extraordinary". The enthusiasm surrounding Bell's public displays laid the groundwork for universal acceptance of the revolutionary device.BOOK, Ross, Stewart, Alexander Graham Bell, (Scientists who Made History), New York, Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2001, 21–22, 978-0-7398-4415-1, harv, The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877, and by 1886, more than 150,000 people in the U.S. owned telephones. Bell Company engineers made numerous other improvements to the telephone, which emerged as one of the most successful products ever. In 1879, the Bell company acquired Edison's patents for the carbon microphone from Western Union. This made the telephone practical for longer distances, and it was no longer necessary to shout to be heard at the receiving telephone.Emperor Pedro II of Brazil was the first person to buy stock in Bell's company, the Bell Telephone Company. One of the first telephones in a private residence was installed in his palace in Petrópolis, his summer retreat forty miles (64 km) from Rio de Janeiro.WEB, Dom Pedro II and America, The Library of Congress,weblink March 7, 2018, In January 1915, Bell made the first ceremonial transcontinental telephone call. Calling from the AT&T head office at 15 Dey Street in New York City, Bell was heard by Thomas Watson at 333 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. The New York Times reported:}}


{{See also|Canadian Parliamentary Motion on Alexander Graham Bell}}As is sometimes common in scientific discoveries, simultaneous developments can occur, as evidenced by a number of inventors who were at work on the telephone.{{Sfn|MacLeod|1999|p=19}} Over a period of 18 years, the Bell Telephone Company faced 587 court challenges to its patents, including five that went to the U.S. Supreme Court,WEB, Who Really Invented The Telephone?, Australasian Telephone Collecting Society,weblink Moorebank, NSW, Australia, April 22, 2011, but none was successful in establishing priority over the original Bell patent{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=95}}BOOK, Black, Harry, Canadian Scientists and Inventors: Biographies of People who made a Difference, Markham, Ontario, Pembroke, 1997, 19, 978-1-55138-081-0, harv, and the Bell Telephone Company never lost a case that had proceeded to a final trial stage.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=95}} Bell's laboratory notes and family letters were the key to establishing a long lineage to his experiments.{{sfn|Groundwater|2005|p=95}} The Bell company lawyers successfully fought off myriad lawsuits generated initially around the challenges by Elisha Gray and Amos Dolbear. In personal correspondence to Bell, both Gray and Dolbear had acknowledged his prior work, which considerably weakened their later claims.{{sfn|Mackay|1997|p=179}}On January 13, 1887, the U.S. Government moved to annul the patent issued to Bell on the grounds of fraud and misrepresentation. After a series of decisions and reversals, the Bell company won a decision in the Supreme Court, though a couple of the original claims from the lower court cases were left undecided.WEB,weblink US v. AMERICAN BELL TEL CO, (1897), May 10, 1897, Findlaw, July 28, 2010, WEB,weblink United States V. American Bell Telephone Co., 128 U.S. 315 (1888), Jusrtia US Supreme Court, November 12, 1885, July 28, 2010, By the time that the trial wound its way through nine years of legal battles, the U.S. prosecuting attorney had died and the two Bell patents (No. 174,465 dated March 7, 1876, and No. 186,787 dated January 30, 1877) were no longer in effect, although the presiding judges agreed to continue the proceedings due to the case's importance as a precedent. With a change in administration and charges of conflict of interest (on both sides) arising from the original trial, the US Attorney General dropped the lawsuit on November 30, 1897, leaving several issues undecided on the merits.JOURNAL, The United States Government vs. Alexander Graham Bell. An important acknowledgment for Antonio Meucci, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 22, 6, 426–442, December 2002, 10.1177/0270467602238886, Catania, Basilio, During a deposition filed for the 1887 trial, Italian inventor Antonio Meucci also claimed to have created the first working model of a telephone in Italy in 1834. In 1886, in the first of three cases in which he was involved,{{refn|Meucci was not involved in the final trial.{{clarify|date=June 2018|reason=What final trial is this talking about?}}|group=N}} Meucci took the stand as a witness in the hope of establishing his invention's priority. Meucci's testimony in this case was disputed due to a lack of material evidence for his inventions, as his working models were purportedly lost at the laboratory of American District Telegraph (ADT) of New York, which was later incorporated as a subsidiary of Western Union in 1901.WEB, Catania, Basilio,weblink Antonio Meucci – Questions and Answers: What did Meucci to bring his invention to the public?,, November 6, 2009, September 19, 2015, WEB,weblink Our History, ADT, September 18, 2015, Meucci's work, like many other inventors of the period, was based on earlier acoustic principles and despite evidence of earlier experiments, the final case involving Meucci was eventually dropped upon Meucci's death.{{sfn|Bruce|1990|pp=271–272}} However, due to the efforts of Congressman Vito Fossella, the U.S. House of Representatives on June 11, 2002, stated that Meucci's "work in the invention of the telephone should be acknowledged".NEWS, Rory Carroll, Bell did not invent telephone, US rules,weblink The Guardian, June 17, 2002, October 25, 2015, "H.RES.269: Resolution 269." Retrieved: July 28, 2010. {{webarchive |url= |date=July 13, 2015 }}WEB,weblink Congressional Record – Speech by Prof. Basillio, September 5, 2001, July 17, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink September 18, 2015, This did not put an end to the still-contentious issue.WEB, Antonio Meucci (1808–1889), Italian Historical Society of America,weblink September 18, 2015, Some modern scholars do not agree with the claims that Bell's work on the telephone was influenced by Meucci's inventions.WEB, Mary, Bellis,weblink The History of the Telephone – Antonio Meucci, Inventors, December 29, 2009, {{refn|Tomas Farley also writes that "Nearly every scholar agrees that Bell and Watson were the first to transmit intelligible speech by electrical means. Others transmitted a sound or a click or a buzz but our boys [Bell and Watson] were the first to transmit speech one could understand."|group=N}}The value of the Bell patent was acknowledged throughout the world, and patent applications were made in most major countries, but when Bell delayed the German patent application, the electrical firm of Siemens & Halske (S&H) set up a rival manufacturer of Bell telephones under their own patent. The Siemens company produced near-identical copies of the Bell telephone without having to pay royalties.{{sfn|Mackay|1997|p=178}} The establishment of the International Bell Telephone Company in Brussels, Belgium in 1880, as well as a series of agreements in other countries eventually consolidated a global telephone operation. The strain put on Bell by his constant appearances in court, necessitated by the legal battles, eventually resulted in his resignation from the company.BOOK, Parker, Steve, Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone, Scientific American, 102, 23, (Science Discoveries), 1995, 23, 978-0-7910-3004-2, harv, 1910SciAm.102..462., 10.1038/scientificamerican06041910-462, {{refn| Many of the lawsuits became rancorous, with Elisha Gray becoming particularly bitter over Bell's ascendancy in the telephone debate, but Bell refused to launch a countersuit for libel.|group=N}}{{Further|The Telephone Cases}}

Family life

File:Alexander Graham Bell and family.jpg|thumb|alt=A distinguished bearded man, his young elegant wife next to him and their two young daughters poise for a formal portrait|Alexander Graham Bell, his wife Mabel Gardiner HubbardMabel Gardiner Hubbard{{Commons|Alexander_Graham_Bell#General_photos_of_or_about_Alexander_Graham_Bell_and_his_family|Bell and his family members}}(File:Brodhead-Bell-Morton Mansion.jpg|thumb|alt=A three-story gray mansion, with a covered front entrance|The Brodhead-Bell mansion, the Bell family residence in Washington, D.C., from 1882 to 1889{{sfn|Bruce|1990|pp=297–299}})On July 11, 1877, a few days after the Bell Telephone Company was established, Bell married Mabel Hubbard (1857–1923) at the Hubbard estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His wedding present to his bride was to turn over 1,487 of his 1,497 shares in the newly formed Bell Telephone Company.{{sfn|Eber|1991|p=44}} Shortly thereafter, the newlyweds embarked on a year-long honeymoon in Europe. During that excursion, Bell took a handmade model of his telephone with him, making it a "working holiday". The courtship had begun years earlier; however, Bell waited until he was more financially secure before marrying. Although the telephone appeared to be an "instant" success, it was not initially a profitable venture and Bell's main sources of income were from lectures until after 1897.{{sfn|Dunn|1990|p=28}} One unusual request exacted by his fiancée was that he use "Alec" rather than the family's earlier familiar name of "Aleck". From 1876, he would sign his name "Alec Bell".{{sfn|Mackay|1997|p=120}}NEWS, Mrs. A.G. Bell Dies. Inspired Telephone. Deaf Girl's Romance With Distinguished Inventor Was Due to Her Affliction, The New York Times, January 4, 1923, {{dead link|date=September 2015}} They had four children:
  • Elsie May Bell (1878–1964) who married Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor of National Geographic fame.NEWS, Dr. Gilbert H. Grosvenor Dies, The New York Times, Canadian Press,weblink February 5, 1966, September 18, 2015, subscription, Dr. Gilbert H. Grosvenor ... died on the Cape Breton Island estate once owned by his father-in-law, the inventor Alexander Graham Bell., NEWS, Mrs. Gilbert Grosvenor Dead, The New York Times,weblink December 27, 1964, September 18, 2015,
  • Marian Hubbard Bell (1880–1962) who was referred to as "Daisy". Married David Fairchild.BOOK, Grosvenor, Edwin S., Morgan, Wesson, Alexander Graham Bell: The Life and Times of the Man Who Invented the Telephone, New York, Harry N. Abrahms, 1997, 104, 978-0-8109-4005-5, harv, NEWS, Mrs. David Fairchild, 82, Dead; Daughter of Bell, Phone Inventor, The New York Times,weblink September 25, 1962, Canadian Press, subscription, {{refn|Marian was born only days after Bell and his assistant Sumner Tainter had successfully tested their new wireless telecommunication invention at their Volta Laboratory, one which Bell would name as his greatest achievement. Bell was so ecstatic that he wanted to jointly name his new invention and his new daughter Photophone (Greek: "light–sound"),{{sfn|Grosvenor|Wesson|1997|p=104}}BOOK, Carson, Mary Kay, 2007, Alexander Graham Bell: Giving Voice To The World,weblink Sterling Biographies, New York, Sterling Publishing, 77, 978-1-4027-3230-0, 182527281, harv, Bell wrote: "Only think!—Two babies in one week! Mabel's baby was light enough at birth but mine was LIGHT ITSELF! Mabel's baby screamed inarticulately but mine spoke with distinct enunciation from the first." Bell's suggested scientific name for their new infant daughter did not go over well with Marian's mother, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard Bell.{{sfn|Grosvenor|Wesson|1997|p=104}}|group=N}}
  • Two sons who died in infancy (Edward in 1881 and Robert in 1883).
The Bell family home was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, until 1880 when Bell's father-in-law bought a house in Washington, D.C.; in 1882 he bought a home in the same city for Bell's family, so they could be with him while he attended to the numerous court cases involving patent disputes.{{sfn|Gray|2006|pp=202–205}}Bell was a British subject throughout his early life in Scotland and later in Canada until 1882 when he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1915, he characterized his status as: "I am not one of those hyphenated Americans who claim allegiance to two countries."{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=90}} Despite this declaration, Bell has been proudly claimed as a "native son" by all three countries he resided in: the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.{{sfn|Bruce|1990|pp=471–472}}By 1885, a new summer retreat was contemplated. That summer, the Bells had a vacation on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, spending time at the small village of Baddeck.BOOK, Bethune, Jocelyn,weblink Historic Baddeck, (Images of our Past), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Nimbus Publishing, 2009, 2, 978-1-55109-706-0, harv, Returning in 1886, Bell started building an estate on a point across from Baddeck, overlooking Bras d'Or Lake.{{sfn|Bethune|2009|p=92}} By 1889, a large house, christened The Lodge was completed and two years later, a larger complex of buildings, including a new laboratory,{{sfn|Bethune|2009|p=2}} were begun that the Bells would name Beinn Bhreagh (Gaelic: beautiful mountain) after Bell's ancestral Scottish highlands.BOOK, Tulloch, Judith, The Bell Family in Baddeck: Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel Bell in Cape Breton, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Formac Publishing, 2006, 25–27, 978-0-88780-713-8, harv, {{refn|Under the direction of the Boston architects, Cabot, Everett & Mead, a Nova Scotia company, Rhodes, Curry & Company, carried out the actual construction.|group=N}} Bell also built the Bell Boatyard on the estate, employing up to 40 people building experimental craft as well as wartime lifeboats and workboats for the Royal Canadian Navy and pleasure craft for the Bell family. He was an enthusiastic boater, and Bell and his family sailed or rowed a long series of vessels on Bras d'Or Lake, ordering additional vessels from the H.W. Embree and Sons boatyard in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. In his final, and some of his most productive years, Bell split his residency between Washington, D.C., where he and his family initially resided for most of the year, and Beinn Bhreagh, where they spent increasing amounts of time.{{Sfn|MacLeod|1999|p=22}}Until the end of his life, Bell and his family would alternate between the two homes, but Beinn Bhreagh would, over the next 30 years, become more than a summer home as Bell became so absorbed in his experiments that his annual stays lengthened. Both Mabel and Bell became immersed in the Baddeck community and were accepted by the villagers as "their own".{{sfn|Bethune|2009|p=2}}{{refn| In one memorable incident, the newly arrived Bells were walking down one of Baddeck's central streets when Bell peered into a storefront window and saw a frustrated shopkeeper fiddling with his problematic telephone. Bell quickly disassembled it and effected a repair, to the owner's amazement. When asked how he was able to do so Bell only needed to introduce himself.|group=N}} The Bells were still in residence at Beinn Bhreagh when the Halifax Explosion occurred on December 6, 1917. Mabel and Bell mobilized the community to help victims in Halifax.{{Sfn|Tulloch|2006|p=42}}{{Further|Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia}}

Later inventions

(File:AG Bell 1.jpg|thumb|Alexander Graham Bell in his later years){{Commons category|Alexander_Graham_Bell#Inventions|Bell's many inventions}}Although Alexander Graham Bell is most often associated with the invention of the telephone, his interests were extremely varied. According to one of his biographers, Charlotte Gray, Bell's work ranged "unfettered across the scientific landscape" and he often went to bed voraciously reading the Encyclopædia Britannica, scouring it for new areas of interest.{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=219}} The range of Bell's inventive genius is represented only in part by the 18 patents granted in his name alone and the 12 he shared with his collaborators. These included 14 for the telephone and telegraph, four for the photophone, one for the phonograph, five for aerial vehicles, four for "hydroairplanes", and two for selenium cells. Bell's inventions spanned a wide range of interests and included a metal jacket to assist in breathing, the audiometer to detect minor hearing problems, a device to locate icebergs, investigations on how to separate salt from seawater, and work on finding alternative fuels.Bell worked extensively in medical research and invented techniques for teaching speech to the deaf. During his Volta Laboratory period, Bell and his associates considered impressing a magnetic field on a record as a means of reproducing sound. Although the trio briefly experimented with the concept, they could not develop a workable prototype. They abandoned the idea, never realizing they had glimpsed a basic principle which would one day find its application in the tape recorder, the hard disc and floppy disc drive, and other magnetic media.Bell's own home used a primitive form of air conditioning, in which fans blew currents of air across great blocks of ice. He also anticipated modern concerns with fuel shortages and industrial pollution. Methane gas, he reasoned, could be produced from the waste of farms and factories. At his Canadian estate in Nova Scotia, he experimented with composting toilets and devices to capture water from the atmosphere. In a magazine interview published shortly before his death, he reflected on the possibility of using solar panels to heat houses.


File:Photophony1.jpg|thumb|Photophone receiver, one half of Bell's wireless optical communicationoptical communicationBell and his assistant Charles Sumner Tainter jointly invented a wireless telephone, named a photophone, which allowed for the transmission of both sounds and normal human conversations on a beam of light.{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=336}}WEB, Jones, Newell,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, February 19, 2002, First 'Radio' Built by San Diego Resident Partner of Inventor of Telephone: Keeps Notebook of Experiences With Bell, San Diego, California, Evening Tribune, July 31, 1937, November 26, 2009, Both men later became full associates in the Volta Laboratory Association.On June 21, 1880, Bell's assistant transmitted a wireless voice telephone message a considerable distance, from the roof of the Franklin School in Washington, D.C., to Bell at the window of his laboratory, some {{convert|213|m|ft|-2}} away, 19 years before the first voice radio transmissions.{{sfn|Carson|2007|pp=76–78}}{{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=338}}JOURNAL, Groth, Mike,weblink Photophones Revisted, Amateur Radio, April 1987, 12–17, September 19, 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 2, 2015, JOURNAL, Mims III, Forest M.,weblink The First Century of Lightwave Communications, Fiber Optics Weekly Update, February 10–26, 1982, 11 of 6–23, Bell believed the photophone's principles were his life's "greatest achievement", telling a reporter shortly before his death that the photophone was "the greatest invention [I have] ever made, greater than the telephone".ENCYCLOPEDIA, Phillipson, Donald J.C., Laura, Neilson, Alexander Graham Bell, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, online, March 4, 2015,weblink September 19, 2015, The photophone was a precursor to the fiber-optic communication systems which achieved popular worldwide usage in the 1980s.REPORT, Morgan, Tim J., The Fiber Optic Backbone, University of North Texas, 2011,weblinkweblink yes, September 25, 2015, September 19, 2015, JOURNAL, Miller, Stewart E., i27852430, Lightwaves and Telecommunication, American Scientist, 72, 1, January–February 1984, 66–71, Its master patent was issued in December 1880, many decades before the photophone's principles came into popular use.

Metal detector

File:Telephone Inventor’s Voice Heard in Restored Recording « Science World.theora.ogv|thumb|Bell's voice, from a Volta Laboratory recording in 1885. Restored by the Smithsonian in 2013.]]Bell is also credited with developing one of the early versions of a metal detector in 1881. The device was quickly put together in an attempt to find the bullet in the body of U.S. President James Garfield. According to some accounts, the metal detector worked flawlessly in tests but did not find the assassin's bullet partly because the metal bed frame on which the President was lying disturbed the instrument, resulting in static.{{sfn|Grosvenor|Wesson|1997|p=107}} The president's surgeons, who were skeptical of the device, ignored Bell's requests to move the president to a bed not fitted with metal springs.{{sfn|Grosvenor|Wesson|1997|p=107}} Alternatively, although Bell had detected a slight sound on his first test, the bullet may have been lodged too deeply to be detected by the crude apparatus.{{sfn|Grosvenor|Wesson|1997|p=107}}Bell's own detailed account, presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1882, differs in several particulars from most of the many and varied versions now in circulation, by concluding that extraneous metal was not to blame for failure to locate the bullet. Perplexed by the peculiar results he had obtained during an examination of Garfield, Bell "proceeded to the Executive Mansion the next morning ... to ascertain from the surgeons whether they were perfectly sure that all metal had been removed from the neighborhood of the bed. It was then recollected that underneath the horse-hair mattress on which the President lay was another mattress composed of steel wires. Upon obtaining a duplicate, the mattress was found to consist of a sort of net of woven steel wires, with large meshes. The extent of the [area that produced a response from the detector] having been so small, as compared with the area of the bed, it seemed reasonable to conclude that the steel mattress had produced no detrimental effect." In a footnote, Bell adds, "The death of President Garfield and the subsequent post-mortem examination, however, proved that the bullet was at too great a distance from the surface to have affected our apparatus."JOURNAL, Bell, Alexander Graham, 1882, Upon the electrical experiments to determine the location of the bullet in the body of the late President Garfield; and upon a successful form of induction balance for the painless detection of metallic masses in the human body, American Journal of Science, 25, 145, 22–61,weblink April 29, 2013, harv, 1883AmJS...25...22B, 10.2475/ajs.s3-25.145.22,


File:Bell HD-4.jpg|thumb|Bell HD-4HD-4The March 1906 Scientific American article by American pioneer William E. Meacham explained the basic principle of hydrofoils and hydroplanes. Bell considered the invention of the hydroplane as a very significant achievement. Based on information gained from that article, he began to sketch concepts of what is now called a hydrofoil boat. Bell and assistant Frederick W. "Casey" Baldwin began hydrofoil experimentation in the summer of 1908 as a possible aid to airplane takeoff from water. Baldwin studied the work of the Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini and began testing models. This led him and Bell to the development of practical hydrofoil watercraft.During his world tour of 1910–11, Bell and Baldwin met with Forlanini in France. They had rides in the Forlanini hydrofoil boat over Lake Maggiore. Baldwin described it as being as smooth as flying. On returning to Baddeck, a number of initial concepts were built as experimental models, including the Dhonnas Beag (Scottish Gaelic for little devil), the first self-propelled Bell-Baldwin hydrofoil.{{sfn|Boileau|2004|p=18}} The experimental boats were essentially proof-of-concept prototypes that culminated in the more substantial HD-4, powered by Renault engines. A top speed of {{convert|54|mph|km/h}} was achieved, with the hydrofoil exhibiting rapid acceleration, good stability, and steering, along with the ability to take waves without difficulty.{{sfn|Boileau|2004|pp=28–30}} In 1913, Dr. Bell hired Walter Pinaud, a Sydney yacht designer and builder as well as the proprietor of Pinaud's Yacht Yard in Westmount, Nova Scotia, to work on the pontoons of the HD-4. Pinaud soon took over the boatyard at Bell Laboratories on Beinn Bhreagh, Bell's estate near Baddeck, Nova Scotia. Pinaud's experience in boat-building enabled him to make useful design changes to the HD-4. After the First World War, work began again on the HD-4. Bell's report to the U.S. Navy permitted him to obtain two {{convert|350|hp|kW|abbr=off}} engines in July 1919. On September 9, 1919, the HD-4 set a world marine speed record of {{convert|70.86|mph|km/h|abbr=off}},{{sfn|Boileau|2004|p=30}} a record which stood for ten years.


(File:AEA Silver Dart.jpg|thumb|AEA Silver Dart ca. 1909)In 1891, Bell had begun experiments to develop motor-powered heavier-than-air aircraft. The AEA was first formed as Bell shared the vision to fly with his wife, who advised him to seek "young" help as Bell was at the age of 60.In 1898, Bell experimented with tetrahedral box kites and wings constructed of multiple compound tetrahedral kites covered in maroon silk.{{refn|Bell was inspired in part by Australian aeronautical engineer Lawrence Hargrave's work with man-carrying box kites.BOOK, Technical Gazette, New South Wales, Australia, 1924, 46, {{Citation needed|date=September 2015}} Hargrave declined to take patents on his inventions, similar to Bell's decision not to file patents on some of his inventions. Bell also chose maroon-colored silk as it would show up clearly against the light-colored sky in his photographic studies.|group="N"}} The tetrahedral wings were named Cygnet I, II, and III, and were flown both unmanned and manned (Cygnet I crashed during a flight carrying Selfridge) in the period from 1907–1912. Some of Bell's kites are on display at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site."Nova Scotia's Electric Scrapbook." {{webarchive |url= |date=April 17, 2009 }} Retrieved: December 29, 2009.Bell was a supporter of aerospace engineering research through the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA), officially formed at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in October 1907 at the suggestion of his wife Mabel and with her financial support after the sale of some of her real estate.NEWS, Gillis, Rannie,weblink Mabel Bell Was A Focal Figure In The First Flight of the Silver Dart, Cape Breton Post, Sydney, Nova Scotia, September 29, 2008, June 12, 2010, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 24, 2016, The AEA was headed by Bell and the founding members were four young men: American Glenn H. Curtiss, a motorcycle manufacturer at the time and who held the title "world's fastest man", having ridden his self-constructed motor bicycle around in the shortest time, and who was later awarded the Scientific American Trophy for the first official one-kilometre flight in the Western hemisphere, and who later became a world-renowned airplane manufacturer; Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, an official observer from the U.S. Federal government and one of the few people in the army who believed that aviation was the future; Frederick W. Baldwin, the first Canadian and first British subject to pilot a public flight in Hammondsport, New York; and J. A .D. McCurdy–Baldwin and McCurdy being new engineering graduates from the University of Toronto.MAGAZINE, February 27, 1959, Canada's Golden Anniversary, Flight International, Flight, 75, 2614, 280,weblink August 28, 2013, The AEA's work progressed to heavier-than-air machines, applying their knowledge of kites to gliders. Moving to Hammondsport, the group then designed and built the Red Wing, framed in bamboo and covered in red silk and powered by a small air-cooled engine.BOOK, Phillips, Allan, Into the 20th Century: 1900/1910, (Canada's Illustrated Heritage), Toronto, Ontario, Natural Science of Canada, 1977, 95, 978-0-919644-22-9, harv, On March 12, 1908, over Keuka Lake, the biplane lifted off on the first public flight in North America.{{refn|"Selfridge Aerodrome Sails Steadily for {{convert|319|ft|m}}." Washington Post May 13, 1908.|group=N}}{{refn| At 25 to 30 Miles an Hour. First Public Trip of Heavier-than-air Car in America. Professor Alexander Graham Bell's New Machine, Built After Plans by Lieutenant Selfridge, Shown to Be Practicable by Flight Over Keuka Lake. Portion of Tail Gives Way, Bringing the Test to an End. Views of an Expert. Hammondsport, New York, March 12, 1908.|group=N}} The innovations that were incorporated into this design included a cockpit enclosure and tail rudder (later variations on the original design would add ailerons as a means of control). One of the AEA's inventions, a practical wingtip form of the aileron, was to become a standard component on all aircraft.{{refn|The aileron had been conceived of as early as 1868 by British inventor M.P.W. Boulton and was also created independently by Robert Esnault-Pelterie and several others.|group="N"}} The White Wing and June Bug were to follow and by the end of 1908, over 150 flights without mishap had been accomplished. However, the AEA had depleted its initial reserves and only a ,000 grant from Mrs. Bell allowed it to continue with experiments.{{sfn|Phillips|1977|p=96}} Lt. Selfridge had also become the first person killed in a powered heavier-than-air flight in a crash of the Wright Flyer at Fort Myer, Virginia, on September 17, 1908.Their final aircraft design, the Silver Dart, embodied all of the advancements found in the earlier machines. On February 23, 1909, Bell was present as the Silver Dart flown by J. A. D. McCurdy from the frozen ice of Bras d'Or made the first aircraft flight in Canada.MAGAZINE, October 19, 1956, Link with Canadian Pioneers, Flight International, Flight, 70, 2491, 642,weblink August 28, 2013, Bell had worried that the flight was too dangerous and had arranged for a doctor to be on hand. With the successful flight, the AEA disbanded and the Silver Dart would revert to Baldwin and McCurdy, who began the Canadian Aerodrome Company and would later demonstrate the aircraft to the Canadian Army.{{sfn|Phillips|1977|pp=96–97}}


Bell was connected with the eugenics movement in the United States. In his lecture Memoir upon the formation of a deaf variety of the human race presented to the National Academy of Sciences on November 13, 1883 (the year of his election as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences), he noted that congenitally deaf parents were more likely to produce deaf children and tentatively suggested that couples where both parties were deaf should not marry.BOOK, Bell, Alexander Graham,weblink Memoir: Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race, National Academy of Sciences, 1883, harv, However, it was his hobby of livestock breeding which led to his appointment to biologist David Starr Jordan's Committee on Eugenics, under the auspices of the American Breeders' Association. The committee unequivocally extended the principle to humans.{{sfn|Bruce|1990|pp=410–417}} From 1912 until 1918, he was the chairman of the board of scientific advisers to the Eugenics Record Office associated with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, and regularly attended meetings. In 1921, he was the honorary president of the Second International Congress of Eugenics held under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Organizations such as these advocated passing laws (with success in some states) that established the compulsory sterilization of people deemed to be, as Bell called them, a "defective variety of the human race". By the late 1930s, about half the states in the U.S. had eugenics laws, and California's compulsory sterilization law was used as a model for that of Nazi Germany.BOOK, Clarence Lusane, Lusane, Clarence, Hitler's Black Victims: The Historical Experiences of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi Era, Hove, East Sussex, UK, Psychology Press, 2003, 124, 978-0-415932-950, harv,

Legacy and honors

File:Bell Statue in front of the Brantford Bell Telephone Building 0.98.jpg|thumb|Bell statue by A. E. Cleeve Horne, similar in style to the Lincoln Memorial, in the front portico of the Bell Telephone Building of Brantford, Ontario, The Telephone City.{{refn|The Charles Fleetford Sise Chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America commissioned and dedicated the large bronze statue of Bell in the front portico of Brantford, Ontario's new Bell Telephone Building plant on June 17, 1949. Attending the formal ceremony were Bell's daughter, Mrs. Gillbert Grosvenor, Frederick Johnson, President of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada, T.N. Lacy, President of the Telephone Pioneers, and Brantford Mayor Walter J. Dowden. To each side of the portico facing the monument are the engraved inscriptions "In Grateful Recognition of the Inventor of the Telephone". Its dedication was broadcast live nationally by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.NEWS, Ireland, Carolyn, The Portrait Studio House, The Globe and Mail, February 27, 2009, NEWS, Daughter Unveils Inventor's Statue: Bronze Figure Is Dedicated By Phone Pioneers, (Brantford Expositor]], June 18, 1949, |group="N"}} (Courtesy: Brantford Heritage Inventory, City of Brantford, Ontario, Canada))Honors and tributes flowed to Bell in increasing numbers as his invention became ubiquitous and his personal fame grew. Bell received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities to the point that the requests almost became burdensome.WEB, About this Collection, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, Library of Congress,weblink September 18, 2015, During his life, he also received dozens of major awards, medals, and other tributes. These included statuary monuments to both him and the new form of communication his telephone created, including the Bell Telephone Memorial erected in his honor in Alexander Graham Bell Gardens in Brantford, Ontario, in 1917.BOOK, Osborne, Harold S., Biographical Memoir of Alexander Graham Bell 1847–1922, National Academy of Sciences,weblink Biographical Memoirs, Vol. XXIII, 18, 1943, September 18, 2015, harv, File:Alexander Graham Bell Quote in stone.jpg|thumb|A quote by Alexander Graham Bell engraved in the stone wall within the Peace Chapel of the International Peace GardenInternational Peace GardenA large number of Bell's writings, personal correspondence, notebooks, papers, and other documents reside in both the United States Library of Congress Manuscript Division (as the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers), and at the Alexander Graham Bell Institute, Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia; major portions of which are available for online viewing.A number of historic sites and other marks commemorate Bell in North America and Europe, including the first telephone companies in the United States and Canada. Among the major sites are:
  • The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, maintained by Parks Canada, which incorporates the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, close to the Bell estate Beinn BhreaghWEB,weblink Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Parks Canada, August 7, 2015, September 18, 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 11, 2007,
  • The Bell Homestead National Historic Site, includes the Bell family home, "Melville House", and farm overlooking Brantford, Ontario and the Grand River. It was their first home in North America;
  • Canada's first telephone company building, the "Henderson Home" of the late 1870s, a predecessor of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada (officially chartered in 1880). In 1969, the building was carefully moved to the historic Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford, Ontario, and was refurbished to become a telephone museum. The Bell Homestead, the Henderson Home telephone museum, and the National Historic Site's reception centre are all maintained by the Bell Homestead Society;WEB, Pay Us a Call at Melville House!,weblink Bell Homestead National Historic Site, September 18, 2015,
  • The Alexander Graham Bell Memorial Park, which features a broad neoclassical monument built in 1917 by public subscription. The monument depicts mankind's ability to span the globe through telecommunications;"Alexander Graham Bell Memorial Park." Retrieved: February 14, 2012.
  • The Alexander Graham Bell Museum (opened in 1956), part of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site which was completed in 1978 in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. Many of the museum's artifacts were donated by Bell's daughters;File:Grahambellmuseumcorridoor.jpg|thumb|The Bell Museum, Cape Breton, part of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site]]
In 1880, Bell received the Volta Prize with a purse of 50,000 French francs (approximately US${{formatnum:{{Inflation|US|10000|1879|r=-4}}}} in today's dollars{{Inflation-fn|US}}) for the invention of the telephone from the French government.WEB,weblink Honors to Professor Bell Daily Evening Traveller, September 1, 1880, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, Library of Congress, September 18, 2015, WEB,weblink Volta Prize of the French Academy Awarded to Prof. Alexander Graham Bell, September 1, 1880, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, Library of Congress, September 18, 2015, WEB,weblink Telegram from Grossman to Alexander Graham Bell, August 2, 1880, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, Library of Congress, September 18, 2015, WEB,weblink Telegram from Alexander Graham Bell to Count du Moncel, undated, 1880, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, Library of Congress, September 18, 2015, WEB,weblink Letter from Frederick T. Frelinghuysen to Alexander Graham Bell, January 7, 1882, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, Library of Congress, September 18, 2015, Among the luminaries who judged were Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, fils.REPORT,weblink Selected Innovation Prizes and Reward Programs, 2008, Knowledge Ecology International, September 18, 2015, The Volta Prize For Electricity, 16, {{Better source|date=August 2018}} The Volta Prize was conceived by Napoleon III in 1852, and named in honor of Alessandro Volta, with Bell becoming the second recipient of the grand prize in its history.BOOK,weblink Les fondations de prix à l'Académie des sciences : les lauréats de l'Académie, 1714-1880, Maindron, Ernest, 1881, Gauthier-Villars, 1, 131–133, French, JOURNAL, Davis, John L., July 1998, Artisans and savants: The Role of the Academy of Sciences in the Process of Electrical Innovation in France, 1850–1880, Annals of Science, 55, 3, 291–314, 10.1080/00033799800200211, Since Bell was becoming increasingly affluent, he used his prize money to create endowment funds (the 'Volta Fund') and institutions in and around the United States capital of Washington, D.C.. These included the prestigious 'Volta Laboratory Association' (1880), also known as the Volta Laboratory and as the 'Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory', and which eventually led to the Volta Bureau (1887) as a center for studies on deafness which is still in operation in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The Volta Laboratory became an experimental facility devoted to scientific discovery, and the very next year it improved Edison's phonograph by substituting wax for tinfoil as the recording medium and incising the recording rather than indenting it, key upgrades that Edison himself later adopted.LETTER FROM MABEL HUBBARD BELL >WEBSITE=ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL FAMILY PAPERS, Library of Congressdate=February 27, 1880, September 18, 2015photophone", the "optical telephone" which presaged Fiber-optic communication>fibre optical telecommunications while the Volta Bureau would later evolve into the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (the AG Bell), a leading center for the research and pedagogy of deafness.In partnership with Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Bell helped establish the publication Science during the early 1880s. In 1898, Bell was elected as the second president of the National Geographic Society, serving until 1903, and was primarily responsible for the extensive use of illustrations, including photography, in the magazine.WEB,weblink National Geographic Milestones, June 20, 2012, National Geographic Milestones, National Geographic Society, January 18, 2016, He also served for many years as a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution (1898–1922).{{citation | title = Volume IV of the Proceedings of the Board of Regents, Dec. 9, 1920 - Dec. 10, 1931 | publisher = Smithsonian Institution | location = Washington, D. C. | chapter = Proceedings of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution at the Annual Meeting held December 14, 1922 | date = December 14, 1922 | page = 547 | quote = RESOLVED: That the Executive Committee be requested to prepare a memorial commemorative of the life and work of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, Regent of the Smithsonian Institution from 1898 to 1922, said memorial to be presented at the next Annual Meeting of the Board. | chapter-url =weblink}} The French government conferred on him the decoration of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honor); the Royal Society of Arts in London awarded him the Albert Medal in 1902; the University of Würzburg, Bavaria, granted him a PhD, and he was awarded the Franklin Institute's Elliott Cresson Medal in 1912. He was one of the founders of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1884 and served as its president from 1891–92. Bell was later awarded the AIEE's Edison Medal in 1914 "For meritorious achievement in the invention of the telephone".WEB, Alexander Graham Bell, Engineering and Technology History Wiki,weblink September 18, 2015, The bel (B) and the smaller decibel (dB) are units of measurement of sound pressure level (SPL) invented by Bell Labs and named after him."Decibel." {{Webarchive|url= |date=August 9, 2017 }} Retrieved: July 28, 2010. {{refn|The decibel is defined as one tenth of a bel.|group=N}}ENCYCLOPEDIA, bel, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,weblink Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fifth, 2011, September 18, 2015, Since 1976, the IEEE's Alexander Graham Bell Medal has been awarded to honor outstanding contributions in the field of telecommunications.(File:Alexander Grahm Bell2 1940 Issue-10c.jpg|thumb|upright=0.8|left |~ A.G. Bell issue of 1940 ~)In 1936, the US Patent Office declared Bell first on its list of the country's greatest inventors,JOURNAL, Beauchamp, Christopher,weblink Who Invented the Telephone?: Lawyers, Patents, and the Judgments of History, Technology and Culture, 51, 4, October 2010, 854–878, 10.1353/tech.2010.0038, {{sfnRef, Beauchamp, 2010, |doi-broken-date=2019-01-28 }} leading to the US Post Office issuing a commemorative stamp honoring Bell in 1940 as part of its 'Famous Americans Series'. The First Day of Issue ceremony was held on October 28 in Boston, Massachusetts, the city where Bell spent considerable time on research and working with the deaf. The Bell stamp became very popular and sold out in little time. The stamp became, and remains to this day, the most valuable one of the series.Scott's United States Stamp catalogue.The 150th anniversary of Bell's birth in 1997 was marked by a special issue of commemorative £1 banknotes from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The illustrations on the reverse of the note include Bell's face in profile, his signature, and objects from Bell's life and career: users of the telephone over the ages; an audio wave signal; a diagram of a telephone receiver; geometric shapes from engineering structures; representations of sign language and the phonetic alphabet; the geese which helped him to understand flight; and the sheep which he studied to understand genetics.WEB,weblink Royal Bank Commemorative Notes, Rampant Scotland, October 14, 2008, Additionally, the Government of Canada honored Bell in 1997 with a C0 gold coin, in tribute also to the 150th anniversary of his birth, and with a silver dollar coin in 2009 in honor of the 100th anniversary of flight in Canada. That first flight was made by an airplane designed under Dr. Bell's tutelage, named the Silver Dart.WEB, Proof Set - 100th Anniversary of Flight in Canada (2009), Royal Canadian Mint,weblink September 18, 2015, Bell's image, and also those of his many inventions have graced paper money, coinage, and postal stamps in numerous countries worldwide for many dozens of years.Alexander Graham Bell was ranked 57th among the 100 Greatest Britons (2002) in an official BBC nationwide poll,NEWS,weblink 100 great British heroes, BBC News World Edition, August 21, 2002, April 5, 2010, and among the Top Ten Greatest Canadians (2004), and the 100 Greatest Americans (2005). In 2006, Bell was also named as one of the 10 greatest Scottish scientists in history after having been listed in the National Library of Scotland's 'Scottish Science Hall of Fame'.WEB, Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922),weblink Scottish Science Hall of Fame, 2009, Bell's name is still widely known and used as part of the names of dozens of educational institutes, corporate namesakes, street and place names around the world.File:Bell receives honourary LL.D from University of Edinburgh.jpg|thumb|Bell, an alumnus of the University of EdinburghUniversity of Edinburgh{{See also|Bell Telephone Memorial}}

Honorary degrees

{{Expand list|date=August 2016}}Alexander Graham Bell, who could not complete the university program of his youth, received at least a dozen honorary degrees from academic institutions, including eight honorary LL.D.s (Doctorate of Laws), two Ph.D.s, a D.Sc., and an M.D.:BOOK, MacDougall, D., Scots and Scots Descendant in America, Part V: Alexander Graham Bell, {{google books, kX3XAAAAMAAJ, yes, 162, |publisher=Caledonian |location=New York |date=1917 |p=162 |access-date=September 18, 2015 |ref=harv}}
  • Gallaudet College (then named National Deaf-Mute College) in Washington, D.C. (Ph.D.) in 1880{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}WEB,weblink Honorary Degree Recipients, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC, July 28, 2010, yes,weblink" title="">weblink June 18, 2010,
  • University of Würzburg in Würzburg, Bavaria (Ph.D.) in 1882{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}
  • Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany (M.D.) in 1886{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}DCB, Lawrence, Surtees,weblink BELL, ALEXANDER GRAHAM, 15, March 6, 2009,
  • Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (LL.D.) in 1896{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}
  • Illinois College, in Jacksonville, Illinois (LL.D.) in 1896, possibly 1881{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}WEB,weblink Illinois College, Honorary Degrees Conferred, September 18, 2015,weblink" title="">weblink September 24, 2015, yes,
  • Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts (LL.D.) in 1901{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}
  • St. Andrew's University in St Andrews, Scotland (LL.D) in 1902{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}
  • University of Oxford in Oxford, England (D.Sc.) in 1906{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}
  • University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland (LL.D.) in 1906{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}WEB, Graduations, University of Edinburgh,weblink September 18, 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink September 1, 2015,
  • George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (LL.D.) in 1913{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}
  • Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada (LL.D.) in 1908{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}
  • Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire (LL.D.) in 1913,NEWS,weblink Dartmouth graduates 208: Alexander Graham Bell Among Those Receiving Honorary Degrees, The New York Times, July 26, 1913, July 30, 2009, possibly 1914{{sfn|MacDougall|1917|p=162}}

Portrayal in film and television

  • The 1939 film The Story of Alexander Graham Bell was based on his life and works.WEB, THE SCREEN; The founding of the Wrong-Number Industry WellDramatized in Roxy's 'Alexander Graham Bell' At the 86th St. Garden Theatre At Three Theatres At the 86th Street Casino,weblink The New York Times, February 2, 2017, April 1, 1939,
  • The 1992 film The Sound and the Silence was a TV film.
  • Biography aired an episode Alexander Graham Bell: Voice of Invention on August 6, 1996.
  • Eyewitness No. 90 A Great Inventor Is Remembered, a 1957 NFB short about Bell.


Bell died of complications arising from diabetes on August 2, 1922, at his private estate in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, at age 75.BOOK, Gray, Charlotte, Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell, {{google books, ujlCgf1uSJIC, yes, 151, |year=2006 |publisher=Arcade |location=New York |p=419 |isbn=978-1-55970-809-8 |ref=harv}} Bell had also been afflicted with pernicious anemia.{{sfn|Gray|2006|p=418}} His last view of the land he had inhabited was by moonlight on his mountain estate at 2:00 a.m.{{refn|In the last years of his life, as his final projects wound down, Bell and his wife, their extended family and friends, lived exclusively at their beloved Beinn Bhreagh.{{sfn|Bethune|2009|p=95}}NEWS, Duffy, Andrew, The Silver Dart sputtered into history,weblink Ottawa Citizen, February 23, 2009, September 18, 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 13, 2015, .|group=N}}{{sfn|Bethune|2009|p=119}}{{refn|From {{harvp|Bethune|2009|p=119}}: "[his end came] at 2:00 am... His wife, Mabel, daughter Daisy, and son-in-law David Fairchild had gathered around him. His last view was of the moon rising above the mountain he loved".|group=N}} While tending to him after his long illness, Mabel, his wife, whispered, "Don't leave me." By way of reply, Bell signed "no...", lost consciousness, and died shortly after.NEWS,weblink Dr. Bell, Inventor of Telephone, Dies, The New York Times, August 3, 1922, March 3, 2009, {{sfn|Bruce|1990|p=491}}On learning of Bell's death, the Canadian Prime Minister, Mackenzie King, cabled Mrs. Bell, saying:Bell's coffin was constructed of Beinn Bhreagh pine by his laboratory staff, lined with the same red silk fabric used in his tetrahedral kite experiments. To help celebrate his life, his wife asked guests not to wear black (the traditional funeral color) while attending his service, during which soloist Jean MacDonald sang a verse of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Requiem":{{sfn|Bethune|2009|pp=119–120}}
Under a wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die And I laid me down with a will.
Upon the conclusion of Bell's funeral, "every phone on the continent of North America was silenced in honor of the man who had given to mankind the means for direct communication at a distance".{{sfn|Bethune|2009|p=2}}{{sfn|Osborne|1943|pp=18–19}}Dr. Alexander Graham Bell was buried atop Beinn Bhreagh mountain, on his estate where he had resided increasingly for the last 35 years of his life, overlooking Bras d'Or Lake. He was survived by his wife Mabel, his two daughters, Elsie May and Marian, and nine of his grandchildren.NEWS,weblink Dr. Bell, Inventor of Telephone, Dies, The New York Times, August 3, 1922, July 21, 2007, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, died at 2 o'clock this morning at Beinn Breagh, his estate near Baddeck, WEB, Descendants of Alexander Melville Bell – Three Generations. Bell Telephone Company of Canada Historical Collection and Company Library (undated), Brant Historical Society, {{Citation needed|date=September 2015}}

See also

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  • JOURNAL, Bell, Alexander Graham, October 1880, On the Production and Reproduction of Sound by Light,weblink American Journal of Science, Read before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Boston, August 27, 1880, Third, 20, 118, 305–324, 10.2475/ajs.s3-20.118.305, 1880AmJS...20..305B, Also published as: JOURNAL, Bell, Alexander Graham, September 23, 1880, Selenium and the Photophone,weblink Nature (journal), Nature, 22, 569, 500–503, 10.1038/022500a0, 1880Natur..22..500.,
  • BOOK, Bell, Alexander Graham,weblink The Question of Sign-Language and The Utility of Signs in the Instruction of the Deaf—Two papers, Washington, D.C., Sanders Printing Office, 1898,
  • MAGAZINE, Bell, Alexander Graham, February 1917, Prizes for the Inventor: Some of the Problems Awaiting Solution,weblink The National Geographic Magazine, 31, 2, 131–146, National Geographic Society,

Further reading

External links

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