Alexander Graham Bell And The Telephone

677 words - 3 pages

A world without telephones would mean a world without communication and a struggle to complete everyday tasks. Ninety-one percent of Americans would not be able to call, send text, set alarms, or check social media on the go. When he invented the telephone in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell pioneered the way for future inventors to further advance the telephone making communication and life easier for us and generations to come. As a young boy growing up in the 1850’s, Bell was ambitious and headstrong, often observing his fathers, Melville Bell’s, teaching of correct speech and elocution. He followed his father’s footsteps and became fascinated in exploring the physiology of speech and deaf education, which ultimately lead to the invention of the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell’s teachings, inventions, and the organizations he was involved in were imperative to America’s development and are still being used today, making him a person of absolute significance in ...view middle of the document...

He later said that, “Herdsman’s injunction to do something useful was my first incentive to invention, and the method of cleaning wheat was the first fruits of my effort.” Alexander Graham Bell showed his inventive spirit at an early age and enjoyed exploring nature. He was eager to create, invent, and improve further ideas.

In the summer of 1860, Bell went to spend a summer with his grandfather in London at the age of 13. Young Alexander was amazed when he saw Sir Charles Wheatstone demonstrate his machine that could pronounce human words. Later, Melville challenged his sons to construct a machine that recreated human speech more accurately. “The boys made several different versions of a larynx out of tin and rubber and blew through it to make sound. Using a human skull as a model, Aleck constructed a jaw, upper gum, hard palate, teeth, and other parts from gutta-percha, which resembles hard rubber. The tongue and lips were fashioned of softer rubber covering wood and wire and stuffed with cotton.” (Grosvenor, Wesson 22) Sir Charles Wheatstone made a great impression on Alexander Graham Bell, which furthered his curiosity with human speech and sound. Bell and his brother were able to successfully create a machine that recreated human speech was a great triumph for the young inventor. Like his son, Melville Bell was also fascinated with the autonomy of speech and sound. In 1867, he invented a writing system to help deaf students learn to speak. Visible speech was a complex system of symbols that represented the speech organs used to articulate speech. He showed the movement of the throat, tongue, and lips with his World English, which consisted of 52 consonants, 36 vowels, and 12 gliding vowels (On the Nature and use of Visible Speech, 1872). Melville Bell’s teaching to the hearing impaired using Visible Speech opened a door for Alexander Graham Bell to explore the autonomy of speech with his father’s system and inspired him to also make a difference, helping the hearing impaired. With his father’s influence, Alexander Graham Bell had a long passion for the autonomy of speech and sound. He was determined to find a way to help teach the hearing impaired and was destined to invent something life changing.

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