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Transcript of The Telephone
By Alexander Graham Bell
To you, it may seem like an everyday occurrence. Nothing truly remarkable or to be thought about. But all this, the possibility of talking to someone, communicating with someone, without being face to face, is all, courtesy of the telephone.
Imagine being able to speak with someone...
Halfway across the world...
Or on the other side of the country...
Or just next door..
The people of today aren't that familiar with the times before the telephone. Phones have become a necessary part of their lives. Daily and as a whole. As a part of their work, and as a part of their play.
Current phones have been turned more into playthings and toys, rather than just communicative designs. They are still efficient in communication, it just isn't their main point anymore.
All this entertainment and these games are decreasing the level of communication face to face. Which, as it may seem to some, was not the original point of the telephone. Telephones were meant to increase effectiveness, enhance efficiency and reduce mistakes when the chances of talking face to face were not possible.
Without even standing up...
And yet, there's also the fact that the telephone was created partially by accident, so how could it have a certain purpose?
Well, to understand that, we have to understand the telephone's creator.
Alexander Graham Bell.
Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
He died on August 2, 1922 in Beinn Breagh, Nova Scotia, Canada from complications due to diabetes.
Bell was born to father, Professor Alexander Melville Bell, and mother, Eliza Grace Symonds Bell. He also had two brothers, both of whom died of tuberculosis.
He married Mabel Hubbard at the age of thirty in 1877. They had 4 children, two sons who died in infancy and two daughters.
Both his mother and his wife were deaf.
His mother and wife being deaf greatly affected his interest in the sciences and sound.
Although his education began early, homeschooling with his father, he slacked off in school. He had interest only for the sciences and an eye for no other. Only when he spent a year with his grandfather, at the age of fifteen, was his love of learning born. It was a year filled with fascination, studying and interesting discussions.
He developed his interest in sound throughout the years by going to demonstrations and displays, along with discussions and small inventions and experiments of his own. He taught in deaf and mute schools and students excelled under his wing.
After the death of his brothers he and his family moved from London to Brantford, Ontario, Canada. This is where the miracle happened.
Before inventing the telephone, A. G. Bell did various things. After arriving in Brantford, he set up his "inventing place," his workshop.
After discovering the Six Nations reserve close by, Bell learned the Mohawk language and translated its unwritten vocabulary into Visible Speech symbols. For this he received the title of Honorary Chief.
Alexander's father was offered a job as principal to teach Visible Speech Symbols in the Boston School of Deaf-mutes. He declined in favour of his son. Bell trained the staff well, and was asked to repeat the program at various schools for over six months.
After that, Alexander took a break and continued developing one of his recent inventions, the harmonic telegraph. The basic concept behind his device was that messages could be sent through a single wire if each message was transmitted at a different pitch, but work on both the transmitter and receiver was needed.
After a while he decided to go back to Boston as a teacher. He started his own school "School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech." one of his most famous pupils was, deaf-mute-blind Helen Keller.
After around a year, Alexander went to become a professor in the Boston University giving private lessons. He went back to Brantford every summer. He quickly became excited by the enthusiasm radiating off the scientists and inventors in the city. He continued his experiments in science, working late into the night, eventually having his health deteriorate. After a summer in Canada he came back to Boston and quit his profitable job. One of his two remaining students' parent provided him housing and a place to experiment.
Alexander Graham Bell continued with his experiments in sound. He experimented with a phonautograph, yet didn't have the funding to prove the feasibility of his invention. After talking to some wealthy investors about his pursuit of a voice/sound telegraph, he got funding immediately. Soon, he picked up his assistant Thomas Watson.
On June 2, 1875, Watson accidentally plucked one of the reeds and Bell, at the receiving end of the wire, heard the overtones of the reed; overtones that would be necessary for transmitting speech. That showed Bell that only one reed was necessary, not multiple reeds. This led to the "gallows" sound-powered telephone, which could transmit indistinct, voice-like sounds, but not clear speech.
A few days later they tried the "gallows" powered telephone, one person at each end of the line, which ran from a room in the inventor's house in Boston to the cellar underneath. Bell, in the work room, held one instrument in his hands, while Watson in the cellar listened at the other. Bell spoke into his instrument, “Do you understand what I say?” and Mr. Watson answered "Yes".
After patenting his invention, Alexander didn't make any improvements because of his health for eight months.
The first successful bi-directional transmission of clear speech by Bell and Watson was made on March 10, 1876 when Bell spoke into the device, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” and Watson answered.
A precursor of the electromagnetic telephone originated in 1833. An electromagnetic device for the transmission of telegraphic signals was invented in Göttingen, Germany, helping to create the core and the base for the technology that was later used in similar telecommunication devices. Such as the modern-day electromagnetic phone.
The modern day telephone is one of the most revolutionary items in human history. Even though, to some the technology of landlines may start seeming "old-fashioned", if it wasn't for Alexander Graham Bell, we'd still be stuck with an unreliable old telegraph.
Alexander Graham Bell wasn't the only one who thought of this life changing phenomenon. Numerous other scientists came up with the same or similar ideas, claiming to be earlier or later or within hours of Bell. Noticeably Elisha Grey.
The telephone has revolutionized the world of communication and is the core to many other telecommunication ideas. It's grown into something so much larger than anybody at the time of its invention could've imagined. And it won't stop, in hundred years time they'll look back and say "200 years ago, the primitive telephone was invented..."
The telephone has affected me and my family in such a large way. Not only do we stay in touch with each other, but everyday, for hours, we can talk to ALL our other relatives, all of whom live in India on the other side of the world. Without this creation, I may have heard from my grandparents once in four years, but now, its so often, I feel like they're right here with me. I am so much more connected to culture than I ever would've been otherwise.
This astonishing invention has not only changed my life on a personal level, but on a global scale. And that is why I present to you, the Canadian Invention of my choice: