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Happy Birthday Mr. Bell!

Alexander Graham Bell c1904

Alexander Graham Bell c1904

Alexander Graham Bell, a successful business man, scientist, innovator and engineer was born on this date in 1847.

In 1876, at the age of 29, Alexander was awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone (patent # 174,465). Soon afterward in 1877 he formed the Bell Telephone Company.

With the financial success of the telephone, he was able to further his research and experiments. He influenced many other areas of life, often a reaction to daily events. One such invention was an electromagnetic device called an induction balance to try and locate a bullet lodged in President Garfield in 1881 – the attempt was not successful. Later, after his son died from respiratory problems, he designed a metal vacuum jacket that would help with breathing – the forerunner to the Iron Lung.

A little bit of Bell trivia:

  • In 1898 he became the president of the National Geographic Society
  • His mother and his wife were both deaf
  • He met Helen Keller when she was 6 years old
  • Bell & Casey Baldwin’s HD-4 hydrofoil boat set a world marine speed record in 1919

There are a number of books and graphics in our collection. These can be discovered with a subject search for Bell, Alexander Graham. Additional information may also be found in The Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress, part of our American Memory collection.


  1. Sean Brewer
    March 4, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Mr. Bell a true intervator-inventor his accomplishments paved the road which leeds us to todays comunication accomplishments-and he did ispired others in the medical field, and within his comunity-Happy Birthday. Mr. Bell im sure your amazed and proud of were we have come today in comunications its because of your presents on this Earth. If you could here me i would sayThank you for the isperation you have givin me and all of us in learning about new things and using our imagination to build things when i was a young boy. Sean Brewer

  2. Maya
    April 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I agree, Mr. Bell would be amazed at the advancements we have made in technology. Happy Birthday, Alexander Graham Bell!

  3. Spalding
    April 13, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I am wanting to see if there are any Spalding families still livivg in Perthshire.
    Our son, who is a descendent of the Spalding line will be in scotland in June and would like to make contact.

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