The Inventor of the Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell is famous for creating one of the world’s most important communication devices—the telephone.

The inventor of the telephone and the teacher of the deaf, Alexander Graham Bell, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847.  Alexander was mostly schooled at home. As a young man Alexander worked with his father to teach deaf people to speak where he studied voice production and hearing.

He later moved to America, where he combined this work with an investigation into the transmission of sound by electricity.

In the mid-1870s, Bell began work on the telephone with Thomas Augustus Watson. On March 10, 1876, Bell made the first successful test of the telephone. He spoke a few words to Watson, beginning with “Mr. Watson, come here.” Bell and Watson demonstrated the telephone to the public. People were amazed by this new device. Bell patented his idea. In 1877 Bell established the Bell Telephone Company.

He used some of the profits from his invention of the telephone to finance special schools for the deaf. In 1890 he founded an organization in Washington, D.C., to teach speech to hearing-impaired people. This organization later became the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Bell carried on inventing for the rest of his life, designing hydrofoils to make ships faster and kites capable of lifting people.

Alexander Graham Bell died on August 2, 1922. At the time of his burial, every telephone of the Bell system in the United States and Canada was kept silent for one minute.

Read the dialogue

– Hello, Mike!

– Hello, Tom! I haven’t seen you for ages. Where have you been?

– I’ve been to the library. I’m doing my homework in history. I’m reading about inventors.

– Then you got to know about many interesting things, didn’t you? What was your hometask about?

– The telephone.

– Who was the first to suggest the idea of transmitting speech electrically?

– The French mechanic Charles Boursel.

– When did it happen?

– On the tenth of March in 1876.

– Who was the author of the workable telephone?

– The practical construction of the telephone was invented by the American Alexander Graham Bell.

– Were there any interesting things about this invention?

– Yes, for example the first message was “Mr. Watson, please, come into my room.”

– What did Bell’s telephone consist of?

– Oh, Bell’s telephone was very simple. It consisted of a metal in the field of a horseshoe magnet.

– Oh, I see. Tom, is it possible to consider the present-day telephone the final solution of the communication problem?

– No, I don’t think so.

– Why?

– You know, Mike, “Necessity is a mother of invention”. Mankind will always need something better.

Answer the questions.

  1. What was Tom busy with?
  2. What invention attracted Tom’s attention?
  3. Who was the first to suggest the idea of transmitting speech electrically?
  4. In what century did Alexander Graham Bell invent the telephone?
  5. Which were the first transmitted words?
  6. Was Bell’s telephone simple?
  7. Why are new inventions appearing every day?