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Graham Bell Did Not Coin 'Hello': Facts about Telephone Inventor on His Birth Anniversary

Alexander Graham Bell.

Alexander Graham Bell.

Although his intentions and contributions are all well-known, Bell was also an excellent teacher.

Alexander Graham Bell made a vital contribution to the modern life inventing a working telephone in 1876. The inventor was born on March 3, 1847, in Scotland and later moved to Canada with his family. He was an influential scientist and inventor who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical working telephone.

He did significant work for the people with hearing impairment ensuring they communicate better. He also founded the Bell Telephone Company in 1877. Bell died at his Nova Scotia estate on August 2, 1922, aged 75.

On the inventor’s birth anniversary, here are a few interesting facts about him:

1. ‘Graham’ is not Bell’s real middle name. He was named Alexander Bell, the ‘Graham’ was added later when he turned 11. Both his father and grandfather were named Alexander.

2. He became a voice teacher and worked with his father who developed ‘visible speech’. It was a written system of symbols designed to help deaf while speaking.

3. Bell dedicated his life to studying and making inventions for the aid of those with hearing and speaking disabilities. His mother and wife were both deaf and this inspired him to work with principles of acoustics and make contributions to help them.

4. Bell’s primary focus was to help people with hearing disabilities, but the telephone came into existence when he was experimenting with acoustic telegraphy along with his assistant Thomas Watson.

5. He was not the only person to have invented the talking telegraph. Fellow inventor Elisha Gray was also experimenting on similar concepts. Surprisingly, the duo reached the US patent office on the same day to register their patents. However, Bell beat Gray at it and registered his first.

6. His telephone invention saw him engage in one of the longest drawn patent battles in the history of America. Over 600 lawsuits were filed against him after he filed for the patent of his path-breaking invention.

7. While Bell is credited for the invention of a working telephone, he is often misunderstood about coining the term ‘hello’. For this purpose, he intended to use the word ‘ahoy’. However, a few years later, another American inventor Thomas Edison came up with the word ‘hello’ which gained popularity.

8. Although his intentions and contributions are all well-known, Bell was also an excellent teacher. He was gifted in his field and taught deaf students. At the young age of 16, he began teaching his teaching journey when he became the teaching instructor in his boarding school.

9. As a mark of honour, all telephone services in the United States and Canada were suspended for a full minute when Bell was being lowered in his grave in 1922.

10. Among other dedications by the scientific and academic communities, the standard unit for the intensity of sound waves was named ‘bel’ in the 1920s.