Alexander Graham Bell
Inventor of the Telephone
Though he was born in Scotland and spent some time in Ontario, Alexander Graham Bell didn't actually start inventing until he settled in Boston and became an American citizen. And it's a good thing he did, because without Graham Bell we wouldn't have one of our most valued inventions: the telephone.
With both a mother and a wife who were unable to hear, inventor Alexander Graham Bell took an active interest in the deaf. Like his father, he taught deaf people and worked as a speech therapist. In fact, he first developed his phonautograph invention, a device that draws vibrations from the human voice, to help deaf students visualize sound. Eventually, this invention would evolve into what we now know as the telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell made the first speech transmission through his telephone invention on March 10, 1876 (three days after he received his patent), and soon after introduced the device at the World's fair. Of course, Graham Bell wasn't the only one working to develop this technology at the time – one of the others was telegraphy titan Western Union. All in all, the Bell Company was forced to defend over 600 legal challenges to the invention's patent. And, with Alexander Graham Bell's convincing testimony, the company won each and every one.