Bell was one of the finest engineers and scientists of the late 19th century. Though we all know him by the invention of practical telephone, but the fact is that he invented many more devices in the fields of aeronautics and optical telecommunication. He was a diversely talented individual who showed his skills from childhood years. He collected specimens of plants; he was a pianist and was also fond of art and music. He used to copy other person’s voices very well and often kept his family visitors amused by his mimicry. He was also one of the pioneers of National Geographic Society. Now let’s explore more about him in detail.
Date of Birth: March 3, 1847
Place of Birth: Edinburgh, Scotland
Date of Death: August 2, 1922
Place of Death: Benin Bhreagh, Nova Scotia
Reason for popularity: Inventor of practical telephone
- The name of his father was Alexander Melville Bell. He was a professor.
- The name of his grandfather was Alexander Bell. Bell’s father, grandfather and uncle all of them were teachers. They used to lecture in the subject of elocution. Elocution is the formal practice of human sound particularly for deaf and mute people.
- The name of his mother was Eliza Grace.
- Bell got 2 brothers namely Melville James Bell and Edward Charles Bell. However, they were passed away in their early 20s due to tuberculosis. James Bell was only 25 years of age while Charles Bell was 19 years old at the time of their deaths.
- The name of his dearest friend during the early days of his life was Ben Herdman. He lived close to his home and his family owned a flour mill.
- He loved playing piano but never learnt it formally. However in no time, he became an expert pianist on his own.
- He joined Royal High School in Scotland but he left this school as he turned 15.
- At Scotland’s Weston House Academy, Bell got a position in elocution. He was only 16 years old at the time.
Bell’s mother was deaf and so was his wife. While he was only 12 years old, his mother started losing her hearing.
- The name of his wife was Mabel Gardiner Hubbard. Mabel’s father was a well-known US attorney in Boston namely Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Not only this, he was also the first President of both the Bell Telephone Company as well as National Geographic Society.
- Bell got married to Mabel on July 11, 1877 in Cambridge (Massachusetts).
- Bell and Mabel had 4 kids; two sons and two daughters. The two sons were expired in their early years.
- The very first house that his father purchased in North America was in Ontario, Canada. The name of this house is Melville House.
- Among many other deaf pupils of Bell, two very important ones were Mabel Hubbard and Georgie Sanders. Mabel was a nice-looking girl who was 10 years younger than Bell.
- Bell received the patent on his telephone design on March 7, 1876.
- On the same day when Bell applied for a patent in US patent office, another US engineer named Elisha Gray had also applied for its patent for his telephone model by using water transmitter. Both of them applied for patent on February 14, 1876 but Bell got the patent and the controversy between them about patent’s ownership still continues even today.
- The telephone model designed by Bell was very much similar to Gray’s telephone design. However, Bell eventually got it practically worked on March 10, 1876.
- The names of Bell’s business partners were Thomas Sanders and Gardiner Hubbard.
- A company was established in Boston on July 9, 1877 and named Bell Telephone Company.
- In 1881, Bell created a metal detector.
- He died in 1922 in his home in Nova Scotia. The primary cause of his death was diabetes.
- His birth name was Alexander Bell which was continued until he reached 10. He requested his father to have him a middle name just like his two brothers which was accepted by his father. Finally, when Bell turned 11 years, he was given the name ‘Graham’ as his middle name.
- The nickname of Bell was Aleck.
- Bell also created a wireless telephone which he called photophone because voices were communicated using a ray of light. In this invention, Bell was accompanied by a collaborator and a US engineer named Charles Sumner Tainter.