First Telephone Inventor Alexander Graham Bell Rare Photos. Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland. His education was largely received through numerous experiments in sound and the furthering of his father’s work on Visible Speech for the deaf. Bell worked with Thomas Watson on the design and patent of the first practical telephone. In all, Bell held 18 patents in his name alone and 12 that he shared with collaborators. He died on August 2, 1922, in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Full Name: Alexander Graham Bell
Why Famous: Invention of the telephone
Born: 3rd March, 1847
Star Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 2nd August, 1922 (aged 75)
Historical Events in the Life of Alexander Graham Bell
1875-06-03 – Alexander Graham Bell makes 1st voice transmission
1876-03-07 – Alexander Graham Bell patents telephone
1876-03-10 – 1st telephone call made (Alexander Graham Bell to Thomas Watson)
1881-01-25 – Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company.
1915-01-25 – Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in SF
Alexander Graham Bell was born Alexander Bell on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (He was given the middle name “Graham” when he was 10 years old.) The second son of Alexander Melville Bell and Eliza Grace Symonds Bell, he was named for his paternal grandfather, Alexander Bell. For most of his life, the younger Alexander was known as “Aleck” to family and friends. He had two brothers, Melville James Bell (1845–70) and Edward Charles Bell (1848–67), both of whom died from tuberculosis.
During his youth, Alexander Graham Bell experienced significant influences that would carry into his adult life. One was his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, known as the “Athens of the North,” for its rich culture of arts and science. Another was his grandfather, Alexander Bell, a well-known professor and teacher of elocution. Alexander’s mother also had a profound influence on him, being a proficient pianist despite her deafness. This taught Alexander to look past people’s disadvantages and find solutions to help them.
Alexander Graham Bell was homeschooled by his mother, who instilled in him an infinite curiosity about the world around him. He received one year of formal education in a private school and two years at Edinburgh’s Royal High School. Though a mediocre student, he displayed an uncommon ability to solve problems. At age 12, while playing with a friend in a grain mill, he noted the slow process of husking the wheat grain. He went home and built a device with rotating paddles with sets of nail brushes that dehusked the wheat. It was his first invention.
Between 1865 and 1870, there was much change in the Bell household. In 1865, Melville Bell moved the family to London, and Alexander returned to Weston House Academy to teach. In 1867, Alexander’s younger brother, Edward, died of tuberculosis. The following year, Alexander rejoined the family and once again became his father’s apprentice. He soon assumed full charge of his father’s London operations while Melville lectured in America. During this time, Alexander’s own health weakened, and in 1870, Alexander’s older brother, Melville, Jr., also died of complications from tuberculosis.
On his earlier trip to America, Alexander’s father discovered its healthier environment, and after the death of Melville, Jr., decided to move the family there. At first, Alexander resisted the move, for he was beginning to establish himself in London. But realizing his own health was in jeopardy, he relented, and in July 1870, the family settled in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. There, Alexander’s health improved, and he set up a workshop to continue his study of the human voice.
Pursuing His Passion
Despite his success, Alexander Graham Bell was not a businessman. As he became more affluent, he turned over business matters to Hubbard and turned his attention to a wide range of inventions and intellectual pursuits. In 1880, he established the Volta Laboratory, an experimental facility devoted to scientific discovery. There, he developed a metal jacket to assist patients with lung problems, conceptualized the process for producing methane gas from waste material, developed a metal detector to locate bullets in bodies and invented an audiometer to test a person’s hearing. He also continued to promote efforts to help the deaf, and in 1890, established the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf.
In the last 30 years of his life, Bell was involved in a wide range of projects and pursued them at a furious pace. He worked on inventions in flight (the tetrahedral kite), scientific publications (Science magazine), and exploration of the earth (National Geographic magazine).
Alexander Graham Bell died peacefully, with his wife by his side, in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, on August 2, 1922. The entire telephone system was shut down for one minute in tribute to his life. Within a few months, Mabel also passed away. Alexander Graham Bell’s contribution to the modern world and its technologies was enormous.