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Greham Bell.

posted Jun 4, 2015, 5:13 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Jul 16, 2019, 9:44 PM ]

Alexander Greham Bell.

1847- 1922

Date of Birth: March 3rd

Place of birth:- Edinburgh, Scotland.

  Alexander Bell, Aleck for his father, was the second son born to Professor Melville James Bell and the pianist Eliza Symonds. The elder child was Melville James Bell and the younger Edward Charles Bell. They had a long line of elocutionists on the paternal side.

1852 Age 5Yrs.

 Attended Royal High School, school in Edinburgh. He was a child of average intellect but had an inquisitive mind and a profound interest in Nature.

1857  Age 10Yrs.

 He made a complaint to his parents about his name. “ My two brothers have three names each; whereas I have only two names”.

1858 Age 11Yrs.

 His father as a Birthay present to him, included ‘Greham’ as his middle name. Yet he could not be happy as his mother was losing her ability to hear.

1859 Age 12Yrs.

 He often visited his friend and neighbour Ben. They owned a flour mill. Aleck observed that it was a time consuming laborious task to remove the husk in wheat grain. The boy made quite an efficient machine to de-husk the grains which was used for a long time.

 He did his utmost to communicate with his mother who had become totally deaf by this time. He Kept his lips on the forehead of her mother and spoke, so that the sound could go through her bones. He also invented a finger tapping language to keep her mum follow conversations.

1860 Age 13YRS.

 His father who had written a popular book on visual speech, which had been printed again and again, taught him, and his brothers to recognise sounds from any language. His father used Alex at his workshops which earned him high applause.

1862  Age 15 Yrs.

 He had a disagreement with his father which made him go to his grand father.

1863  Age 16Yrs.

 He was back assisting his father in his work with the deaf. Alex started working as a pupil teacher of elocution and music, in Weston House Academy,. He was determined to study the science of sound to help his mother.

1865, Age 18Yrs. 

 Bell family moved to London, Bell returned to Weston House as an assistant master and, in his spare hours, continued experiments on conveying sound through electricity. He even stretched a wire from his room to a friend for his telegraphic experiments.

1866  Age !9Yrs.

 His father knew a famous Philologist Alexander Ellis; who was later to be portrayed in ‘My fair Lady’ as Professor Higgins. Alex sent a report about his experiment on acoustics he was engaged in. Professor promptly replied appreciating his work and comparing it the research going on in Germany at the time. He also sent him a copy of The Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music, which described the work of the famous scientist Hermann von Helmholtz.

1867  Age 20Yrs.

 The two brothers. Edward and Alex contacted Tuberculosis and became seriously ill. Edward succumbed to the disease while Alex recovered and concentrated on his studies with the intention of following his elder brother. Melville had married but had joined the University of London to pursue a Degree.

1868  Age  21Yrs.

 Bell completed his London matriculation exam and became eligible for admission to the University of London.

1870  Age 23Yrs.

 The family settled in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. There, Alexander set up a workshop to continue his study of the human voice. He started using the latest discoveries in science on electro-magnetism to achieve his goal. He designed a method to send piano signals using electricity.

 Boston University in appreciation of the “Visible speech system” developed by his father offered him a Professorship. This was passed over to his son Alex who became the Professor of Physiology and Elocution at the School of Oratory attached to the University.


 Antonio Meucci, an Italian immigrant, filed a caveat (an announcement of an invention). the design of a talking telegraph. He could not renew this due to hardships. U.S. House of Representatives passed a Resolution on  11-6-2002, honouring Meucci's contributions.

1874  Age  27 Yrs.

 The Western Union could not cope up with telegraph traffic their Director contacted Edison and Elisha Grey to develop a system to send many messages through a single wire. Alexander Greham heard this and confessed his ability to do this to Gardiner Hubbard and Sanders who were two parents of his students.

 These two gave the funds and initiated the Bell Telephone company.

1875 Age  28 Yrs.

 Alex met Joseph Henry, the director of the Smithsonian Institute and discussed his dream project which was to send human voice by telegraphy. Henry told him that Greham had the ‘germ of a great invention’. This was a big impetus to the young man.

 He started research and hired Thomas Watson who was an electrical designer. On June 2nd  Watson plucked one of the reeds. Greham Bell received it at the other end. "Mr Watson—Come here—I want to see you" were the first words uttered through a telephone.

1876  Age  29 Yrs.

 On 14th of February, Alexander Bell got to the patent office first. He was the fifth entry of that day, while Elisha Gray, a professor at Oberlin College, was 39th. Therefore, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Bell with the first patent for a telephone,

1677  Age  30Yrs.

 He married Mabel, the daughter of Garrdiner one sposor of the company, , who also happened to be deaf.  They had four children...


 It has been reported that Alexander Greham Bell  never tolerated a telephone in his study as that would distract him.