Alexander Graham Bell

 

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Mar 3, 1847 – Aug 2, 1922

Inventor, Teacher to the Deaf

Scottish, Canadian, American

“The inventor is the man who looks around upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world.”

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Many others were working on the concept of a telephone around the same time as Bell. His patent was challenged over 600 times with various lawsuits.

Alexander Graham Bell started and was educated in Scotland. He was not a particularly good student, but his genius thinking began early on when as a small digit he became fascinated with sounds and inventing. He became a teacher to the deaf, and, unlike many teachers of the time, he was gentle and patient. He later married one of his pupils. Bell invented many things such as a photophone (the first device to transmit messages by light), metal detectors, new kinds of kites and an audiometer (an early hearing aid). While working on the idea of a telegraph which could send more than one message at a time, Bell stumbled upon a device which could transmit speech through wires -- he named this invention the telephone. He and his partners wanted to raise money, so they offered the rights to the telephone to the Western Union Telegraph Company for $100,000. The telegraph company declined the offer by telling him the telephone had too many shortcomings to be seriously considered a means of communications, and, therefore, the device was of no value to them. A few years later, that same company would have happily paid millions, but by then it was too late. Bell and his partners realized the value of their telephone. Even as valuable as the telephone was, Bell expressed a wish for his experiences to have resulted in enabling the deaf to speak with less difficulty. He said that would have made him truly happy.