Alexander Graham Bell

Portrait of Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was an accomplished scientist and inventor. Bell is most famous as the inventor of the telephone but he worked in many other fields in a long and varied career. He is also credited as the inventor of the metal detector and the photophone which was a precursor of modern day fibre optics technology.

He was born in 1847 and took up the family interest in speech and elocution, his mother and wife were both deaf and this contributed a driving force for his work in communications. He studied at Edinburgh University before moving to London with his family in 1865. In 1870 he moved to Canada and then on to the US. He patented the telephone in 1876 and then founded the Bell Telephone Company in 1877 which made him rich. He pursued research and development in hydrofoils and aeronautics and in 1888 was one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.

He died on his estate in Nova Scotia in 1922 and on the day of his burial all telephone service in the US and Canada was stopped for 1 minute as a tribute.