The Life of Alexander Grahm Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1647 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Most people remember Bell for his invention of the telephone. Bell was born into a family with a passion for communication. His father developed the first International Phonetic Alphabet. His grandfather, by the same name, forged a reputation as an impressive actor and orator. Young Bell took to reading and writing at a young age. As he matured, he displayed the Bell family trademark- an expressive, flexible and resonant speaking voice. It was through his impressive voice that he forged a unique bond with his deaf mother. Bell communicated with her by speaking in low, deep tones against her forehead. Alexander died on August 2, 1922 at Baddeck, Canada.
Since the age of 18, Alexander Bell had been working on the idea of transmitting speech. Bell never set out to invent the telephone.
Initially, he wanted to invent a multiple telegraph. Bell hoped to convey several messages simultaneously, each at a different pitch. Bell knew that speech was composed of many complex sound vibrations. While on vacation in 1874, he constructed an "ear-phonoautograph" from a stalk of hay and a dead man's ear. When Bell spoke into the ear, the hay traced the sound waves on a piece of smoked glass. He began to wonder whether this wave could be converted into an electrical transmission. All his work with pitch, electricity and speaking machines "fused" in one sudden flash of inspiration. Sound waves could be produced in a continuous, but undulating, current. The breakthrough came one day in June, in 1875. Bell asked Thomas Watson to pluck a steel receiver reed with his finger to make sure it was not stuck. When Watson vibrated the reed, the receiver in Bell's room also...