On this day in 1847: alexander graham bell is born

     
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1847, Edinburgh, Scotland
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1922, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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On February 14, 1876, only hours after Alexander Graham Bell had filed a patent for his telephone, fellow inventor Elisha Gray arrived at the U.S. Patent Office to tệp tin his intention to patent a telephone. A battle over who would be credited with the invention ensued, ending in a victory for Bell.

Photos: Library of Congress

Telephone

The man behind the invention of the telephone was a Scottish immigrant who taught deaf students, loved to lớn experiment, and never left his research khổng lồ head a business.Visible SpeechAlexander Graham Bell was born in 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Melville Bell, developed Visible Speech, a set of written symbols designed to lớn aid the deaf in speaking. When he wasn"t schooling the young Alec in this system, Melville was encouraging his son to lớn explore photography, music, and virtually anything electrical that struck his fancy.The Harmonic TelegraphIn the 1870s the Bells moved to lớn Canada & shortly after that, khổng lồ Boston, Massachusetts, where Bell took a teaching position at the Pemberton Avenue School for the Deaf. He became increasingly interested in the possibility of transmitting speech over wires. Teaming up with a like-minded machinist, Thomas A. Watson, Bell worked for a year, và succeeded in transmitting the first telephone message on March 10, 1876. Bell took his "Harmonic Telegraph" to lớn Philadelphia"s Centennial Exhibition, where it astonished crowds. The partners were convinced their device could make money; they just weren"t sure how.Phone CustomersDoctors and pharmacists became early adopters of the technology, along with wealthy individuals, including Mark Twain.


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The famous writer installed a phone in his Hartford home even though he complained, "The human voice carries entirely too far as it is." In a mere four years, the American Bell Telephone Company deployed 60,000 telephones, providing service in every large American city. Polite young women found work at the switchboards, which were open from 8 a.m. Khổng lồ 6 p.m. Telephone poles began khổng lồ dot the landscape; the state of Vermont lost 45,000 pine trees in 1885 alone. By then, Bell had withdrawn from the business, leaving others to build the telephone industry.Sound ResearchInspired by Thomas Edison"s Menlo Park labs, Bell founded Volta Laboratories khổng lồ continue his sound research. In 1885 a Volta team developed an improved version of Edison"s phonograph, called the graphophone, that both recorded và played sound. Bell"s most optimistic project was the photophone, a method of sending sound through the medium of sunlight. Bell predicted it would one day rival the telephone. It failed in cloudy weather, however, & eventually evolved into the spectrophone, an early forerunner of spectrum analysis. In his later years, Bell moved to lớn Nova Scotia, where he died in 1922.