Bell Family Name Mini-Book Excerpt
"Recognised as the inventor of the first practical telephone, Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh in 1847.
It was after settling with his parents in North America when he was aged 23 that he dedicated his genius to intensive research on both hearing and speech.
As a pioneer in what became known as acoustic telegraphy, this culminated in his development of a device that utilised a liquid transmitter with a diaphragm that caused a needle to vibrate when the device was spoken into.
It was a basic forerunner of what we now know as that indispensable tool of modern communications, the telephone.
It was first tested on March 10, 1876, in his laboratory in Boston, when he used the device to speak his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, with the command: “Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you.”
Watson, who had been listening at the receiving end of the device in an adjoining room, clearly heard the command.
Bell’s U.S. patent for the telephone described it as “the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically … by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound.”
He died in 1922, and while debate still continues to this day as to whether or not he may have utilised research carried out by the American inventor Elisha Gray, he has been accorded a number of honours.
The U.S. Post Office issued a commemorative stamp honouring him in 1940 as part of its Famous Americans series, while in 2002 he was ranked in a BBC nationwide poll as 57th in its 100 Greatest Britons list; he is also listed in the National Library of Scotland’s Scottish Science Hall of Fame."