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The History Of The Creation Of The Phone And The Biography Of Graham Bell

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Whenever we talk about Telephones the only name that comes to our mind is Alexander Graham Bell. But it is important to note here that along with Graham Bell, Antonio Meucci is also credited with the invention of the telephone. It is said that Antonio had invented a device for voice communication in the year 1854, and Graham Bell had the first patented design.

Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, he was an inventor, scientist, and innovator. It was Graham Bell who patented the first practical telephone. Graham Bell’s father and grandfather used to be busy in a speech development program which is known as elocution, and as a result, Graham Bell was also inspired to study speech and communication. Graham Bell’s deep research was immensely influenced by the fact that his wife and mother were deaf.

Graham Bell’s Early Life, and Education

The young Alexander Graham Bell was home-schooled until he was 12, following which Graham attended Edinburgh’s Royal School for 5 years: he loved science but was unable to do well academically.

It was clearly visible that his schoolwork was poor, but his mind was very sharp. One day, Graham was playing at a flour mill where he learned that de-husking the wheat grains requires a lot of effort and also was a very boring task. He thought all the energy can be saved if he could make a machine to do the work, so he started building one. He was just 12 years old at that time, and the machine that he made was used in the mill for many years.

At the age of 15, he joined his grandfather who had moved to England. And it was his grandfather who home-schooled him, which seemed to work well. When he was 16, he enrolled at Western House Academy in Elgin, Scotland, where he mastered Latin and Greek and also learned money teaching elocution.

With the help of his brother at the age of 16, he tried to build a talking robot. They build a windpipe and a realistic-looking head. When they blew air through the windpipe, the mouth of the robot used to make a small number of recognizable words.

For the next couple of years, Graham Bell moved to a new school, either teaching or improving his education.

Telegraphs as a mode of communicating

Before the invention of the telephone, the only way of communication was Telegrams. For those who are unfamiliar with telegraphy– a telegram is basically a message that is sent by a telegraph operator using Morse code. In the concept of telegrams, the users were restricted to receiving and sending one message at a time. Telegrams were basically used to receive messages over long distances.

Just imagine, how challenging it was to communicate using telegraphy. This method required Wires, telegraph operators, and Morse code! Cell phones are very easy to use.

This wire-based telegraph system was a huge success for the next two decades. At that time, the Telegraph Company bought out smaller companies and quickly extended its lines to become the leading player in the telecommunications sector. In fact, Western Union even built the transcontinental telegraph line. Nevertheless, two inventors in 1870, would severely change the telecommunications sector for a long time.

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Limitations of the Telegraph: Why Did We Require a Telephone?

With the invention of the telephone, people argued that such a device is not necessary. Why would you want to hear someone’s voice when you could simply send them a telegram instead?

The bitter was that the telegram was a limited system. It was popular because it was the only way to transmit messages over long distances.

Telegraphs were also limited by their reliance on repeaters, which needed to be placed along the telegraph line to make sure the signal could reach long distances. Repeaters weren’t automatic relay stations: they were stations where a technician had to receive the signal, and then re-transmit that signal down the line. Clearly, the world required a phone to develop global communications.

Bell Invents the Telephone

One of the biggest and greatest successes of Graham Bell’s career was accomplished on March 10, 1876, when he finally completed his successful research with the telephone. According to Graham Bell’s journal entry dated 10 March 1876, Bell spoke these renowned words to his assistant, “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.” This marked the first time he was able to “talk with electricity.”

There always have been controversies regarding the invention of the telephone. In the year 1870, two designs were made that could transmit speech electronically. Within hours of each other, Elisha Grey and Alexandra Graham Bell rushed their designs to the patent office.

If we go by the official records, it was Graham Bell who was the first to register his patent by a matter of a couple of hours. They both were involved in a serious battle over the years regarding the true inventor of the telephone. And in the end, it was Graham Bell who won the legal battle and was declared as the official inventor of the telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell had a restless mind. The telephone made him famous and wealthy, but he wanted new challenges, and he continued innovating and inventing.

At the End

Graham Bell was at his home when he died on August 2, 1992. Two days later all the telephone services in Canada and the United States were suspended for one minute at the precise moment when Graham Bell was lowered into his grave. An army of 70,000 telephone operators stood silently at attention and did not even connect any new calls as the continent’s 14 million telephones were quiet.

Graham Bell’s name remained in the popular lexicon after his death. To honor the inventor’s contribution in the field of science, the standard unit for the intensity of sound waves was named the “bel” in the 1920s. The decibel, one-tenth of a bel, is the most generally used metric for measuring the magnitude of noise.

He will always be remembered for his inventions and his eagerness to always learn something new.

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