By Samuel Willard Crompton

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell uttered the phrases that might inaugurate a brand new period in human conversation: 'Mr. Watson, come right here, i need to work out you'. Bell was once conversing via his new invention: the phone. although his identify is the 1st to be linked to this now ubiquitous gadget, Bell used to be now not operating in a vacuum or totally on his personal. the second one half the nineteenth century used to be a time of serious innovation, in which many of us have been experimenting with numerous designs for machines to let human conversation over nice distances. Bell used to be easily the 1st to win a patent. "Alexander Graham Bell and the phone" tells the tale of the fellow who invented the phone, the folk who helped him, and the adjustments that happened as a result of one of many maximum innovations of all time.

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Extra resources for Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone: The Invention That Changed Communication (Milestones in American History)

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First, he had an exquisite sense and understanding of sound (Edison, by contrast, was nearly deaf). Second, he was willing to experiment with all sorts of materials and reach many partial dead ends on the way to success. Third, he had the perfect assistant in Thomas Watson who, with notice of only a day or two, 47 48 Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone could put together almost any mechanical contraption Bell designed. The two men worked more closely than ever in the fall of 1875, and by the beginning of 1876, they had progressed far enough that Gardiner Greene Hubbard practically begged Bell to patent his invention.

As a student at Oberlin 41 42 Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone College in his late twenties, Gray discovered a real talent for all things electric. He obtained his first patent in 1867, and by the time he and Bell entered the race to create the harmonic telegraph, Gray was much better known than Bell. In 1872, Gray and some of his associates created Western Electric Manufacturing Company, centered in Chicago, and he therefore had access to more skilled craftsmen than did Bell. More important, Gray knew a great deal more about electricity, both the theory and the practical applications.

Arriving in Philadelphia on June 19, Bell worked with Gardiner Greene Hubbard to set up the telephone exhibit. Bell’s exhibition ticket, which still survives, shows a photograph of a rather pale, even nervous, young man (one is reminded of his description of Mabel’s “poor dear pale face”), but the eyes show a purposeful intensity. All was ready by the morning of June 25, which, coincidentally, was the same dawn that saw Custer and his Seventh Cavalry approach the banks of the Little Big Horn in ­far-­off Montana.

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