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Alexander Graham Bell: The Man Behind the Telephone

alexander bellAlexander Graham Bell is known as an inventor, scientist, and engineering.  He is well-known for his invention of the telephone and was involved in many other inventions.

His invention of the telephone came from his desire to help the deaf hear and had done research into speech articulation following his father’s work.  The patent was issued on March 7, 1876.  The telephone itself is clouded with controversy of who invented it first and lead to a series of lawsuits.  This includes lawsuits with such people as an Italian inventor, Antonio Meucci.  The most famous conflict is with Elisha Gray , who visited the patent office the same day as Bell had submitted his patent application with a claim on a similar design.  Bell eventually came up on top in these cases and, with in a year of patenting, set up the Bell Telephone Company.

Bell demonstration


After the telephone, Bell went on to completely different experiments and inventions.  Many of these were related to the areas of medical science.  He worked extensively on creating a mechanical breathing apparatus, the predecessor of the iron lung. He had hope to save the lives of drowning victims and premature babies. Bell also conducted research into heavier-than-air flight and founded the Aerial Experiment Association.

Bell Breathing Machine

Bell sought to advance scientific knowledge and was one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.  He was the president from 1898 to 1903.

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    • Bell, Alexander Graham,. 1881. Proof from alexander graham bell’s own mouth: That he never contemplated a speaking telephone in his 1876 patent and that he never transmitted speech with any instrument mentioned in said patent, but on the contrary made a complete failure in every effort to do so. United States : s.n.  Law Electronic Resource.
    • Dickerson, E. N., James Jackson Storrow , Chauncey Smith , A. E. Dolbear, Telephone Company Molecular, Telephone Company Clay Commercial, Telephone Company American Bell, Telephone Company People’s, Overland Telephone Company of,New Jersey, and United States. 2007. The telephone appeals. Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein & Co. Law Electronic Resource.
    • Eber, Dorothy. 1982. Genius at work : Images of alexander graham bell. New York : Viking Press TK6143.B4 E23 Main Library.
    • Evenson, A. E. 2000. The telephone patent conspiracy of 1876 : The elisha gray-alexander bell controversy and its many players . Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland  TK6018.B4 E94 2000 Main Library.
    • Gray, Charlotte,. 2006. Reluctant genius : Alexander graham bell and the passion for invention / charlotte gray. Vol. 1st U.S. ed. New York : Arcade Pub. : Distributed by Hachette Book Group USA  TK6143.B4 G73 2006 Engineering Library.
    • Grosvenor, Edwin S., and Morgan Wesson . 1997. Alexander graham bell : The life and times of the man who invented the telephone. New York : Harry Abrams  FOLIO TK6143.B4 G76 1997 Main Oversize.
    • Schils, René. 2012. How james watt invented the copier: Forgotten inventions of our great scientists. New York, NY : Springer Science+Business Media, LLC Electronic Resource
    • Shulman, Seth. 2008. The telephone gambit : Chasing alexander graham bell’s secret / seth shulman. Vol. 1st ed. New York : W. W. Norton & Co.  TK6018.B4 S58 2008 Engineering Library.