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Alexander Graham Bell makes the first telephone call

Today on March 10th 1876, Alexander Graham Bell forever revolutionizes communication by making the first telephone call in history.

Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer. He is credited with inventing the first telephone and founded the Bell Telephone Company as well as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T). Alongside his grandfather, father, and brother, Bell worked in the field of elocution, the formal study of pronunciation, grammar and tone. Bell’s mother and wife were both deaf, which likely was a motivating force for his interest in the field. His studies led him to experiment with various hearing devices, ultimately culminating in him being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876.

In 1870, at the age of 23, he moved to Canada along with his parents and sister-in-law. By 1874, Bell had made significant progress with the harmonic telegraph at his home in Brantford, Ontario. Later that year, Bell received new financing from Gardiner Hubbard and Thomas Sanders, allowing him to hire his famous assistant, Thomas Watson. After seemingly endless experimentation, the two were successfully granted a patent on March 7. Three days later they publicly demonstrated the first telephone call in his laboratory. Bell’s famous first words were: "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you".

Bell was a modern day philanthropist, using his enormous wealth to help fund other prominent scientists, inventors and charitable organizations. He financed the National Geographic Society and served as their second president for five years. Bell was a huge supporter of the deaf and encouraged their integration into society by helping advance lip reading and other new techniques. In fact, Bell helped introduce Helen Keller to future miracle worker, Anne Sullivan. Interestingly, Bell refused to have a telephone in his study, citing it as a distraction to his work.


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