Only few people in this world leave their footprints on the sands of history, and these men of honor never die. One such grand personality is the greatest innovator of all times Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the first practical telephone. His other major inventions include: optical communications, hydrofoils, metal detector and aeronautic.
Early Years of Life
Graham bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847. He was the only child, of Professor Alexander Melville Bell, out of the three, who didn’t die due to tuberculosis at a young age. He received his early education at home from his father; however he then got admitted to Royal high School, Edinburgh, which he left at the age of 15, due to poor performance.
Bell moved to London to live with his grand father and enrolled at the Western House Academy, Scotland. For further studies he joined University of Edinburgh. His first invention came at the age of 12, when he built a homemade de-husking machine to be used at his neighbor’s mill. In return, he was given a small workshop within the mill which he used to carry out further experiments.
At the age of 23, Bell’s brother’s widow and his parents shifted to Canada, to stay with a family friend. After a short stay there, they purchased a farm near Brantford, where Bell built his own workshop in the carriage house. After setting up his workshop, Bell continued his experiments with electricity and sound based on the work of Helmholtz.
By 1874, telegraph message traffic was rapidly expanding; there was a great need to find an inexpensive way to send multiple telegraph messages on each telegraph line.
At that time, Bell had made great progress at both his Boston laboratory as well as at his family home in Canada and his work on harmonic telegraph entered a decisive stage. Bell got financial support from two wealthy patrons but he did not have the basic knowledge to continue with the experiment. He still he did not give up and kept trying.
Bell hired Thomas A. Watson, an experienced electrical designer, as his assistant. In 1875, an accident during the experiment led to the sound powered telephone, which was able to transmit voice like sounds. At last, after the patent issue made by Elisha Gray on March 10, 1876, Bell succeeded in making his telephone work.
The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877. Bell company engineers brought about numerous improvements to the telephone making it the most successful product ever.
Bell further carried out his experiments in communication. He came up with the photophone-transmission of sound on a beam of light, which was a precursor of fiber-optics. He helped the deaf to learn new speech techniques. Altogether he received 18 patents in his name out of which he shared 12 with his collegues.
On August 2, 1922 Bell died of diabetes at Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia, at age 75, leaving behind a wife and two daughters. He was buried at the Beinn Bhreagh Mountain.
During his funeral every phone in North America was silenced in honor of the great inventor.