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Inventor of the Telephone


Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) is best known for inventing the telephone in 1876, while in the Boston, MA area. Bell had been inventing since his youth. The electrical transmission of the human voice over a distance was the result of his work with human speech, telegraphy, and electromagnetism. His study of how the ear worked led him to design a diaphragm moved by speech whose motion was turned into an electrical signal that moved a receiving diaphragm producing sound waves for the listener. The success of his invention established the Bell Telephone Company and later AT&T.

Bell was born and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. He went to University of Edinburgh and later to University of London. To escape tuberculosis, Bell and his parents moved to Brantford, Canada, in 1870. This eventually brought Bell to the Boston area where he met his wife Mabel Hubbard. After his success with the telephone, Bell turned his attention to other inventions at a family compound on Bras D'Or Lake in Nova Scotia, Canada. His later inventions include kite designs, hydrofoil boats, and, with Mabel, Bell organized a team to bring aviation to Canada. The result was Silver Dart's first flight at the lake in 1907; a first flight for the British Empire. Bell had broad interests; he established the magazine Science and was the second president of the National Geographic Society.