GMIH-015 Alexander Graham Bell



You’ll never believe this but a long time ago telephones used to be attached to a wire plugged into the wall and you actually had to answer the phone before you knew who was calling you. Okay, that was just a joke. But it won’t be long until kids don’t know about life before cell phones.

But the whole idea of calling someone on the phone is due to a man with a great mustaches. Alexander Graham Bell is the subject of this episode of Great Mustaches in History.

Bell’s Place in History

Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patent drawing, March 7, 1876.

Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent drawing, March 7, 1876.

Alexander Graham Bell is most famous for his invention of the telephone. You may not know this but his mother and wife were deaf. That is why he was so interested in sound. He experimented with sound a lot. He had one idea that really became an obsession. Telegraphs were the main way that people communicated over long distances in his day. Bell wanted to send more than dots and dashes. He wanted to send voices down the telegraph wire.

Bell convinced people to help fund his research. After he got funding he began working on inventing the telephone. On March 10, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell spoke the first words over the phone, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”

Several other people were working on the telephone. Bell invented the phone but had to race to the patent office because others were about to patent devices very similar to his telephone. Bell was first but not by much. But being first was all that mattered. His valuable patent changed the world. Alexander Graham Bell and his investors formed Bell Telephone Company in 1877. Of course there have been a lot of changes over the years. Bell telephone was split up but his company is known today as AT&T.

Early Life

Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He grew up in Scotland. His father was a professor and supervised his early education. Alexander Graham Bell later attended the University of Edinburgh.

Other Inventions

Alexander Graham Bell did not just work on the telephone. He was interested in a lot of things and worked on lots of projects. He had many other inventions and did experimentation in many areas of science.

Here are a few of his other inventions.

  • The Metal Detector – Alexander Graham Bell invented the metal detector. That metal detector was used to try and find a bullet inside of President James Garfield.
  • Alexander Graham Bell invent the audiometer which is a device used to detect hearing problems.
  • Alexander Graham Bell worked on aeronautics and hydrofoils.
  • He worked on new techniques to teach speech to deaf people.
  • He made a device to help find icebergs.

Interesting Facts About Bell

Bell at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892

Bell at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892

  • Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call across the whole country on January 15, 1915. This famous telephone call was also made to Thomas Watson. Bell was in New York City while Watson was in San Francisco.
  • Alexander Graham Bell helped form the National Geographic Society.
  • This is weird but, Alexander Graham Bell did not like to have a telephone in his study. He thought it intruded.
  • Everyone knows his name is Alexander Graham Bell but he did not get the middle name Graham until he was 10 years old. His brothers had middle names but he did not, so his father gave him the name Graham.
  • When Alexander Graham Bell died, every telephone in North America was silenced for a short time to honor him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>