Short Biography of Alexander Graham Bell
Although the debate whether he actually invented the telephone has lasted for over 75 years, Alexander Graham Bell devised over fifty other inventions that were well ahead of their time. Upon patenting his telephone, Bell set up the Bell Telephone Company where he would make millions, becoming one of the richest men alive during his time.
Born in Scotland and moving to Canada as a young adult, he always worked on his ideas of elocution, or a way the deaf could use sound waves and lip movements to understand the speech of those around them. Both his mother and sister were deaf, which inspired him to work hard to meet his dream so deaf people would be assimilated into society, just as anyone else might.
Upon graduating at the age of 13 from the Royal High School of Edinburgh, he became a student and a teacher at Weston House Academy in Scotland. By the time he was in his early twenties, he had already immigrated with his family to Canada and was teaching his theories on ‘visible speech’ in Montreal with his father. After visiting Boston then being invited to teach at Boston University School of Oratory, he became a U.S. citizen and pursued his goals of bringing his ideas about communication to the masses.
As Alexander Graham Bell worked on ways that human vocals and musical instruments could pass electronically through a transmitter, he applied for a patent for the telephone, even though Meucci had invented it five years prior but wasn’t wealthy enough to pay for the patent. Meucci took Bell to court, but could not afford a proper legal team to take the case full on. Bell had the means to take the telephone to the next level by marketing it successfully.
Bell then continued to work more on sound and even devised a way for magnets to be used on a type of record that could record human sounds. He was only a few steps away from discovering the first tape recorder. Additionally, he invented the first air-conditioning, thought of solar paneling for the storage of energy, and even worked on toilets that would compost human waste. He is also credited with the rudimentary design of fiber optics, the betterment of hydrofoil boats and planes, a means of alternative fuels, and a design for a respirator.
Although the autobiography of Alexander Graham Bell was never compiled, several biographies exist. As an inventor and one who believed that those with disabilities, namely the deaf, should not be marginalized from society, but should integrate, he was ahead of his time. His inventions are still used today by billions. Every time a phone rings, every time we store data, and every time we use a fiber optic network, we can thank Alexander Graham Bell’s ingenious innovations.