The Story Behind Bell
“Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.” These famous words by Alexander Graham Bell were spoken twice – first when the first sentence on the telephone was transmitted, and second when the first transcontinental sentence was exchanged (Feinstein 76, 92). This great genius may be world-famous for his invention of the telephone, but he preferred to be known as something else – the teacher of the deaf (World Book 2001 240). Not only was this brilliant man the creator of the device that transmits speech but also an educator and a very curious human being who desired knowledge and continued to test new ideas throughout his long and productive life. You can see how he changed and influenced the world through the years of his early life, his achievements, his miraculous telephone and its impact on the world, and his other creative inventions.
Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland (Foster). He was named after his grandfather, Alexander Bell and got his middle name, Graham from a family friend. His father, who was also named Alexander, taught deaf-mutes on how to speak, whereas his mother Elisa was a painter (World Book 2001 240). He was a talented musician, and could play by ear from the years of his childhood which resulted in him receiving a musical education (World Book 2001 240). Bell enrolled as a student teacher in West Howe – which was a boys’ school near Edinburgh – and taught music and speech in exchange for being tutored in other subjects (World Book 2001 240). He eventually started his own school for deaf teachers in 1872, which was one achievement of his in the line of many, although his most important one was the telephone. Ever since he was young, he had a fervent interest in human voice and an ambition for fame and fortune. From the time when Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, Bell was determined to create a new and improved version. In other words, he wanted to be able to transmit human speech. He worked with his...
Cited: 1) Foster, Abram. "Bell, Alexander Graham (1847-1922)." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Ed. Suzanne M. Bourgoin. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. 17 vols.Student Resource Center - Junior. Gale. Harvest Park Middle School. 12 May. 2011 (Online) Available
2) “Bell, Alexander Graham.” World Book. 2011 ed. (p. 240)
3) Littell, McDougal. Creating America. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
4) Bellis, Mary. Alexander Graham Bell – Biography. 13 May. 2011 (Online) Available.
5) Feinstein, Stephen. Alexander Graham Bell – The Genius Behind the Phone. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2008.
6) Ament, Phil. Alexander Graham Bell. 13 May. 2011 (Online) Available.
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