Alexander Graham Bell is a name of great significance in American
history today. A skillful inventor and generous philanthropist, he astounded
the world with his intuitive ideas that proved to be both innovative and
extremely practical in the latter half of the 19th century. Most notable, of
course, are Bell's work in developing the telephone and his venerable life-long
endeavor to educate the deaf. Originally, his only wish was to help deaf people
overcome their difficulty in learning verbal communication, and later was pushed
into researching the possibility of a device that could transmit the human voice
electronically over a distance. After building his first working telephone
model, Bell's fame spread quickly as people in America and around the world
began to realize the awesome potential this wonderfully fascinating new device
held in store for society (Brinkley 481). His telephone an instant success and
already a burgeoning industry, A. G. Bell decided to turn his attention back to
assisting the deaf and following other creative ideas including the development
of a metal detector, an electric probe which was used by many surgeons before
the X ray was invented, a device having the same purpose as today's iron lung,
and also a method of locating icebergs by detecting echoes from them. With his
many inventions (especially the insanely popular and universally applied
telephone), his efforts to educate the deaf, and the founding and financing of
the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (now
called the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf), Alexander Graham
Bell has become a very important historical figure indeed (Berstein 9).
Perhaps a key factor in Bell's successful life was his invigorating
background. His family and his education definitely had a deep influence on his
career. Born in Scotland, his mother was a painter and an accomplished musician,
his father a teacher of the deaf... [continues]
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