Portrait of Graham Bell

Inventory number: T99 1/1/1
Location: Hall 1

Alexander Graham Bell was on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Melville Bell, taught deaf-mutes to speak, his mother, Elisa Grace Symonds, was a painter a talented musician. As a young, Bell has been interested in music as well, but finally he decided for his father's profession and became a manualist. In 1863, he became student-teacher at the Weston House College in Elgin, where he taught music and speech. From September 1866 on, he has been teacher of Somerseitshire College. This was the start of his interest in electricity, where he installed a telegraph line between his own and his friend's room. In 1867, he became an associate of his father, Melville Bell. Bell specialized in the anatomy of articulation in London, at University College. As the Bell family has been infected by tuberculosis, he fell ill as well. On medical suggestion, the father with his family moved in July 1870 to Canada. Bell regained health quickly. During the next years he became professor of acoustic physiology, teaching tongue-tied children of people of importance in Boston to speak. These people have been subsidizing Bell's telegraphy development projects which succeeded finally in the invention of telephone. The patent, for which he applied on February 14, 1876, has been registered on March 7. He presented his telephone in Philadelphia, at the centennial exhibition. On July 9, 1877 the Bell Telephone Company came into being. After marrying Mabel Hubbard on July 11, 1877, they took advice from his father-in-law, and left for England to get acquainted with the telephone. In 1880, the French Government honored the invention of telephone with the Volta Price yielding 50,000 Francs. This sum helped him to establish the Volta Laboratories in Washington, the institution where he and his fellow-workers could improve the phonograph of Edison and, from 1897 on, develop the light ray telephone. In 1920 he was incorporated a freeman of his home town Edinburgh. Bell died at Beinn Bhreagh on August 2, 1922, at the age of 75. When the funeral was held, at the time of his burial, all telephone service stopped for two minutes, thus adding a stone to Bell's cairn.

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