Alexander Graham Bell
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Famous Deaf People
Alexander Graham Bell:

Born: 3rd March 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Died: 2nd August 1922, Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada ( Cape Breton Island )
University: Edinburgh University (1864)
Assistant to his father: University College, London (1868-1870)

Melville Bell, the father of A. G. Bell designed Visible Speech, by assigning arbitrary signs (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance for all vocals to teach deaf people to communicate. Although he never was deaf or hard of hearing himself, his mother had a hearing dysfunction and the background gained in Britannia, inspired him to concentrate his life to teach the Deaf.

After the tragic death, because of tuberculosis, of two younger sons, the family relocated to Canada, in 1870 and from there Alexander moved down to Boston, Massachusetts. He was a teacher to deaf people, initially at London and later at Boston School for Deaf Mutes, the Clarke School for the Deaf and the American Asylum for the Deaf. It was these connections that contributed to his meeting and consequential assistance of the famed Helen Adams Keller.

He wedded a deaf girl, Mabel Hubbard, the daughter of a business partner and an earlier student of him, but he had a powerful conviction of disability inheritance, and he was an adversary of marriages between deaf couples.

It is not clear whether his work with deaf people had been instigating the creation of his inventions or the other way around, but Bell attained worldwide fame by his inventions of the telephone patent which was granted on the 7th March 1876 and later the microphone and gramophone. Excluding the obvious use of these inventions, it has become the foundation of later applications, such as Cochlear Implantations and electronically hearing aids to assist Heard of hearing and Deaf people, and can directly be attributed to Alexander Graham Bell.

As recognition of his inventions, Bell was awarded the Volta Prize in 1880 in France with a considerable financial attribution - 50,000 francs, about $10,000. These funds enabled him to institute the Volta research Laboratory and Bureau, an institute to compile data in a depository concerning facts about deafness. This was a major contributor to accurate statistics and the first census also initiated by him, in 1890 to establish the extent and circumstances of the deaf in the United States of America. In this year Bell also instituted the “American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf”. This institute later became the “ Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing”. It's major goal is to enhance and vest speech in the Deaf.

Probably the most important contribution Alexander Graham Bell made towards the technical advancement to hearing ability, was inconceivable at that time. The implementation of his inventions in Cochlear devices is critical and the root to its success.

Not considering the enormous progress in advancing communication over great distances and the accompanied growth his inventions had generated, one could almost not imagine the world we are living in today without it.
Alexander Bell was dedicated to Mabel and their two daughters and committed to the promotion of human welfare and to social reforms. He was always a teacher to the Deaf first, and to promote their well-being. He became a good friend to the Helen Keller entourage. He was an outstanding member of the National Geographic Society in its early years of existence and was the 2nd President. He transformed the publication into the most eminent publications in the history of printed magazines.





Alexander Graham Bell from World of Invention. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale.
Alexander Graham Bell from Encyclopedia of World Biography. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale
Alexander Graham Bell from Science and Its Times. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale