Alexander Graham Bell
Born in Edinburgh Scotland, March 3rd, 1847


Alexander Graham Bell, click for larger image Alexander Graham Bell is one of the world's most famous inventors, a man whose discoveries changed the world forever. His best known inventions are the telephone, the tetrahedron and the hydrofoil. Bell also developed his own methods of teaching the deaf to speak.

The young Bell was home-schooled by his mother, Eliza Grace Symonds Bell. After graduating from Edinburgh High School, he went to London to work with his grandfather, a speech teacher.

In 1870, the family emigrated to Brantford, Ontario, where Bell and his father worked together as speech therapists for the deaf. Bell then moved to Boston where he became a professor of vocal psychology, teaching what he called 'visible speech' to deaf students. It was here that he met and fell in love with Mabel Hubbard, one of his pupils.

It was here, too, that Bell combined his scientific approach to teaching the deaf, his knowledge of electronics and telegraphy towards the invention of the telephone which, in some ways, was an accidental invention. Bell wanted to create a multiple telegraph, one that could send two or three messages simultaneously over the same wire. During experiments with what he called 'the harp apparatus', he accidentally created electronic speech. His assistant plucked a steel reed and, when he did so, Bell's receiver in another room also vibrated. Bell realized the current created by the transmitting reed was related to the generation of a magnetic field. Bell's first telephone was, in essence, a series of reeds attached to a magnet which created the current, thereby converting sound waves into electrical current and vice versa.

Bell Telephone, click for larger image In 1876, Bell unveiled his famous discovery to the world at the Centennial Exposition and received a gold medal for his achievement. Two months after his discovery, the first long-distance telephone message traveled between Paris and Brantford, Ontario. In the same year, he formed the Bell Telephone Co. and began the successful defense of his patent against a number of competitors. By the age of 35, Alexander Graham Bell had become world famous and enormously wealthy.

Bell moved to Washington, D.C., and also bought land at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, where he eventually built his summer home called Beinn Breagh, Gaelic for 'beautiful mountain'.

He continued his scientific investigations, including experiments with propellers, flying machines and even genetics. Bell also invented the tetrahedron, as part of his experiments with kites, and had a profound influence on mechanical flight. The Silver Dart took off from the frozen Bras d'Or Lake near Baddeck in 1909 in what is generally considered the first manned flight in Canada.

Baddeck, Nova Scotia, click for larger image He also invented the hydrofoil, a ski-like device attached to the hulls of boats that lifted them out of the water and allowed for much higher speeds. In 1917, the HD-4 set a world speed record of 117 km/h, a mark that remained untouched for more than a decade.

Bell's experiments also led him to discover the basic principles behind what we now call fiber optics.

His notes and many of the artifacts from his experiments, including the HD-4, are on display at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site at Baddeck, not far from his summer home where Bell died on August 2, 1922.



Thursday, December 26th, 2019

Attention visitors: Tartans.com is back. Please note that this is a snapshot of the site as it existed nearly 20 years ago and you may encounter broken links; we are still combing through the site and correcting those as we find them. Please also note that some sections are currently not functional, primarily the discussion forums/clan chat boards.

** HOME - First Time Visitors - Glossary - - Contact Us **
Awards | Bibliography | Clan Calendar | Clan Chat | Clan Finder | History | Famous Scots | Genealogy | Great Hall of the Clans | Links | News and Features | Scots on the Net | Search | Site Map
The Gathering of the Clans

Clans of Ireland | Ancestral Research Services

Copyright 1995- Tartans.com - All Rights Reserved.