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Alexander Graham Bell Makes The First Telephone Call

Today on March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell forever revolutionized how humans communicate by making the first telephone call in history.

Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer. The famous inventor is widely credited with patenting and developing the world's first telephone. He subsequently founded the Bell Telephone Company in Canada along with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in the United States. Alexander Graham Bell came from a family of accomplished scientists. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, father, and brother by working in the field of elocution — the formal study of pronunciation, grammar, and tone. Both his mother and wife were born deaf, which had a profound impact on his interest in oratory. Both proved to be an important motivating force throughout his career. His studies led him to experiment with different hearing devices, ultimately culminating with being awarded the first United States patent for the telephone in 1876.

At the age of 23, he moved to Canada, along with his parents and sister-in-law. By 1874, Alexander Graham 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 and hired his well-known assistant, Thomas Watson. After seemingly endless experiments, the two were finally granted a patent on March 7, 1876. Three days later, they publicly demonstrated the first telephone call in a laboratory filled with spectators. Bell's famous first words were, "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you."

Alexander Graham Bell was equivalent to a modern-day philanthropist. He used his enormous wealth to help fund other prominent scientists, inventors, and charitable organizations. Bell financed the National Geographic Society and served as their second president for five years. As a supporter of the deaf community, he encouraged their integration into society by helping advance lip reading and other techniques. Bell helped introduce Helen Keller to her future miracle worker and long life friend, Anne Sullivan. Interestingly, he refused to have a telephone in his private study, citing it as a distraction to his work.


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