Alexander Graham Bell

This essay Alexander Graham Bell has a total of 764 words and 4 pages.

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell is a name of great significance in American
history today. A skillful inventor and generous philanthropist, he astounded
the world with his intuitive ideas that proved to be both innovative and
extremely practical in the latter half of the 19th century. Most notable, of
course, are Bell\'s work in developing the telephone and his venerable life-long
endeavor to educate the deaf. Originally, his only wish was to help deaf people
overcome their difficulty in learning verbal communication, and later was pushed
into researching the possibility of a device that could transmit the human voice
electronically over a distance. After building his first working telephone
model, Bell\'s fame spread quickly as people in America and around the world
began to realize the awesome potential this wonderfully fascinating new device
held in store for society (Brinkley 481). His telephone an instant success and
already a burgeoning industry, A. G. Bell decided to turn his attention back to
assisting the deaf and following other creative ideas including the development
of a metal detector, an electric probe which was used by many surgeons before
the X ray was invented, a device having the same purpose as today\'s iron lung,
and also a method of locating icebergs by detecting echoes from them. With his
many inventions (especially the insanely popular and universally applied
telephone), his efforts to educate the deaf, and the founding and financing of
the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (now
called the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf), Alexander Graham
Bell has become a very important historical figure indeed (Berstein 9).
Perhaps a key factor in Bell\'s successful life was his invigorating
background. His family and his education definitely had a deep influence on his
career. Born in Scotland, his mother was a painter and an accomplished musician,
his father a teacher of the deaf and speech textbook writer. His father
invented " Visible Speech ," a code of symbols which indicated the position of the
throat, tongue, and lips in making sounds. These symbols helped guide the deaf
in learning to speak. His grandfather, also named Alexander Bell, had similarly
specialized in good speech. He acted for several years and later gave dramatic
readings from Shakespeare. Young Alexander Graham Bell had a great talent for
music. He played by ear from infancy, and received a musical education. Later,
Bell and his two brothers assisted their father in public demonstrations in
Visible Speech, beginning in 1862. He also enrolled as a student-teacher at
Weston House, a boys\' school, where he taught music and speech in exchange for
instructions in other subjects. Bell became a full-time teacher after studying
for a year at the University of Edinburgh. He also studied at the University of
London and used Visible Speech to teach a class of deaf children. Growing up in
a healthy environment where creativity and new ideas were embraced with vigor
was to certainly contribute to Alexander Graham Bell\'s genius later on in life
(Winefield 12).
Young Bell carried out in 1866 a series of experiments to determine how
vowel sounds are produced. A book, describing experiments in combing the notes
of electrically driven tuning forks to make vowel sounds, gave him the idea of
"telegraphing" speech, though he had no idea about doing it. However, this was
the start of his interest in electricity.
Bell took charge of his father\'s work while the latter lectured in
America in 1968. Bell became his father\'s partner in London in the following
year. He specialized in the anatomy of the vocal apparatus at University
College in London at the same time. In 1872, Alexander opened his own school
for teachers of the deaf in Boston. The following year, he became a professor
at Boston University.
Bell won the friendship of Gardiner Green Hubbard, a Boston attorney at
this time. Hubbard\'s daughter, Mabel, had been left deaf by scarlet fever when
she was 4. Hubbard had Bell tutor her and in no time they were in love,
although Mabel\'s first memories of Alexander were not all positive. I both did
not, and did like him. He was so interesting that I was forced to like to
listen to him, but he himself I disliked. He dressed carelessly and in a
horrible, shiny [hat]—expensive but fashionable—and which made his jet-black
hair look shiny. Altogether I did not think him exactly a gentleman (Winefield
17). Miss Hubbard became Bell\'s wife in 1877. Another friendship developed when
Thomas Sanders, a successful merchant, brought his son to Bell as a private
pupil. Both Hubbard and Sanders learned in 1873

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Related Topics

Alexander Graham Bell, Visible Speech, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Deaf education, Hearing loss, Telephone, Alexander Graham Bell honors and tributes, Elisha Gray and Alexander Bell telephone controversy

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