Alexander Graham Bell

Biography of Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell facts

Scientist, engineer, inventor and innovator, Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He received an education mainly by conducting various experiments in sound and expanding on his father’s work on Visible Speech for the deaf. Bell worked alongside Thomas Watson on the design and patent of the first practical telephone. All in all, Bell held 18 patents in his name alone and 12 patents which he shared with collaborators.

Bell was home schooled by his mother, Eliza, who imparted an infinite curiosity of the world around him. Though an average student, he showed a remarkable aptitude to solve problems. When he was 12 years old, he observed the slow process of husking the wheat grain while he was playing with a friend in a grain mill. He went home and assembled a device with rotating paddles and nail brushes that removed the husks from the grain with no trouble.

Bell was trained from an early age to carry on in the family business, however, his headstrong nature clashed with his father’s overbearing manner. In 1862, looking for a way out, Alexander offered to after his grandfather when he fell ill. The elder Bell encouraged young Alexander and imparted an appreciation for learning and intellectual pursuits. Alexander had joined his father in his work with the deaf by age 16, and almost immediately took on a full charge of his father’s London operations.

In 1871, Alexander Graham Bell moved to Boston and started working on a device which would allow for the telegraphic transmission of numerous messages set to different frequencies. Bell spent most of his time attempting to perfect the harmonic telegraph between 1873 and 1874. In the course of his experiments, he became fascinated in another idea which was transmitting the human voice over wires. The distraction frustrated Bell’s investor so they hired Thomas Watson, a skilled electrician, to refocus Bell on the harmonic telegraph. However, Watson soon became captivated with Bell’s idea of voice transmission and the two formed a great partnership where Bell was the idea man and Watson was the expert in bringing Bell’s ideas to reality.

Alexander Graham Bell telephone

Alexander Graham Bell, who patented the telephone in 1876

In 1874 and 1875, Bell and Watson worked hard on the harmonic telegraph and a voice transmitting device. Though at first upset by the distraction, Bell’s investors soon saw the worth of voice transmission and filed a patent on the idea. On March 10, 1876, Bell and Watson were successful. In 1876, Bell displayed the telephone to the Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro, at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. On July 9, 1877 The Bell Telephone Company was established.

Alexander Graham Bell Wife

Alexander Graham Bell married Mable Hubbard, a former student and the daughter of Gardiner Hubbard, his first financial sponsor on July 11, 1877. The following year, Alexander and Mable travelled to Europe exhibiting the telephone. Following their return to the United States, Bell was called to Washington, D.C. to defend his telephone patent from lawsuits claiming they had designed the telephone or had thought of the idea before Bell. The Bell Company faced over 550 court challenges, throughout the next 18 years, counting quite a few that went to the Supreme Court, but none were successful. The company grew despite the patent battles. Over 150,000 people in the U.S. owned telephones between 1877, and 1886. On January 1915, Bell was requested to make the first transcontinental phone call that took place from New York, where he spoke with Thomas Watson (his former associate) in San Francisco.

In 1880, he launched the Volta Laboratory, an experimental facility dedicated to scientific discovery. He also continued his work with the deaf, in 1890 he established the American Association to Promote Teaching of Speech to the Deaf.

On August 2, 1922 Bell died peacefully, at his home in Baddeck on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.  The entire telephone system was shut down that day for one minute in honour of his life.


Alexander Graham Bell date of birth

March 3, 1847, Edinburgh, Scotland

Alexander Graham Bell died

August 2, 1922 (aged 75), Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia,Canada

Alexander Graham Bell cause of death

Complications from diabetes

Alexander Graham Bell college

University of Edinburgh

University College London

What did Alexander Graham Bell invent?


Alexander Graham Bell children


Alexander Graham Bell wife name

Mabel Hubbard

Who invented the first telephone

Alexander Graham Bell

When did Alexander Graham Bell invent the telephone ?


Where did Alexander Graham Bell invent the telephone ?


Alexander Graham Bell awards

1902  Albert Medal

1907  John Fritz Medal

1912  Elliott Cresson Medal

Alexander Graham Bell known for

Invention of the telephone

Alexander Graham Bell father & mother

Alexander Melville Bell

Eliza Grace Symonds Bell

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