The New York Times reported:. Watson talked by telephone to each other over a two-mile wire stretched between Cambridge and Boston.
It was the first wire conversation ever held. Yesterday afternoon [on January 25, ], the same two men talked by telephone to each other over a 3,mile wire between New York and San Francisco. Bell, the veteran inventor of the telephone, was in New York, and Mr.
Watson, his former associate, was on the other side of the continent. As is sometimes common in scientific discoveries, simultaneous developments can occur, as evidenced by a number of inventors who were at work on the telephone. Supreme Court ,  but none was successful in establishing priority over the original Bell patent   and the Bell Telephone Company never lost a case that had proceeded to a final trial stage.
In personal correspondence to Bell, both Gray and Dolbear had acknowledged his prior work, which considerably weakened their later claims. On January 13, , the U. Government moved to annul the patent issued to Bell on the grounds of fraud and misrepresentation. After a series of decisions and reversals, the Bell company won a decision in the Supreme Court, though a couple of the original claims from the lower court cases were left undecided.
With a change in administration and charges of conflict of interest on both sides arising from the original trial, the US Attorney General dropped the lawsuit on November 30, , leaving several issues undecided on the merits. During a deposition filed for the trial, Italian inventor Antonio Meucci also claimed to have created the first working model of a telephone in Italy in In , in the first of three cases in which he was involved, [N 16] Meucci took the stand as a witness in the hope of establishing his invention's priority. Meucci's testimony in this case was disputed due to a lack of material evidence for his inventions, as his working models were purportedly lost at the laboratory of American District Telegraph ADT of New York, which was later incorporated as a subsidiary of Western Union in House of Representatives on June 11, , stated that Meucci's "work in the invention of the telephone should be acknowledged".
The Siemens company produced near-identical copies of the Bell telephone without having to pay royalties. The strain put on Bell by his constant appearances in court, necessitated by the legal battles, eventually resulted in his resignation from the company. His wedding present to his bride was to turn over 1, of his 1, shares in the newly formed Bell Telephone Company.
During that excursion, Bell took a handmade model of his telephone with him, making it a "working holiday". The courtship had begun years earlier; however, Bell waited until he was more financially secure before marrying. Although the telephone appeared to be an "instant" success, it was not initially a profitable venture and Bell's main sources of income were from lectures until after From , he would sign his name "Alec Bell".
The Bell family home was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, until when Bell's father-in-law bought a house in Washington, D. Bell was a British subject throughout his early life in Scotland and later in Canada until when he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In , he characterized his status as: "I am not one of those hyphenated Americans who claim allegiance to two countries. By , a new summer retreat was contemplated. He was an enthusiastic boater, and Bell and his family sailed or rowed a long series of vessels on Bras d'Or Lake , ordering additional vessels from the H. In his final, and some of his most productive years, Bell split his residency between Washington, D.
Until the end of his life, Bell and his family would alternate between the two homes, but Beinn Bhreagh would, over the next 30 years, become more than a summer home as Bell became so absorbed in his experiments that his annual stays lengthened. Both Mabel and Bell became immersed in the Baddeck community and were accepted by the villagers as "their own". Mabel and Bell mobilized the community to help victims in Halifax. Although Alexander Graham Bell is most often associated with the invention of the telephone, his interests were extremely varied.
These included 14 for the telephone and telegraph, four for the photophone , one for the phonograph , five for aerial vehicles, four for "hydroairplanes", and two for selenium cells. Bell's inventions spanned a wide range of interests and included a metal jacket to assist in breathing, the audiometer to detect minor hearing problems, a device to locate icebergs, investigations on how to separate salt from seawater, and work on finding alternative fuels. Bell worked extensively in medical research and invented techniques for teaching speech to the deaf. During his Volta Laboratory period, Bell and his associates considered impressing a magnetic field on a record as a means of reproducing sound.
Although the trio briefly experimented with the concept, they could not develop a workable prototype. They abandoned the idea, never realizing they had glimpsed a basic principle which would one day find its application in the tape recorder , the hard disc and floppy disc drive, and other magnetic media.
Bell's own home used a primitive form of air conditioning, in which fans blew currents of air across great blocks of ice. He also anticipated modern concerns with fuel shortages and industrial pollution. Methane gas, he reasoned, could be produced from the waste of farms and factories. At his Canadian estate in Nova Scotia, he experimented with composting toilets and devices to capture water from the atmosphere. In a magazine interview published shortly before his death, he reflected on the possibility of using solar panels to heat houses.
Bell and his assistant Charles Sumner Tainter jointly invented a wireless telephone, named a photophone , which allowed for the transmission of both sounds and normal human conversations on a beam of light.
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On June 21, , Bell's assistant transmitted a wireless voice telephone message a considerable distance, from the roof of the Franklin School in Washington, D. Bell believed the photophone's principles were his life's "greatest achievement", telling a reporter shortly before his death that the photophone was "the greatest invention [I have] ever made, greater than the telephone". Bell is also credited with developing one of the early versions of a metal detector through the use of an induction balance, after the shooting of U.
President James A. Garfield in According to some accounts, the metal detector worked flawlessly in tests but did not find Guiteau 's bullet, partly because the metal bed frame on which the President was lying disturbed the instrument, resulting in static.
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Bell's own detailed account, presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in , differs in several particulars from most of the many and varied versions now in circulation, by concluding that extraneous metal was not to blame for failure to locate the bullet. Perplexed by the peculiar results he had obtained during an examination of Garfield, Bell "proceeded to the Executive Mansion the next morning It was then recollected that underneath the horse-hair mattress on which the President lay was another mattress composed of steel wires.
Upon obtaining a duplicate, the mattress was found to consist of a sort of net of woven steel wires, with large meshes. The extent of the [area that produced a response from the detector] having been so small, as compared with the area of the bed, it seemed reasonable to conclude that the steel mattress had produced no detrimental effect. Meacham explained the basic principle of hydrofoils and hydroplanes.
Bell considered the invention of the hydroplane as a very significant achievement. Based on information gained from that article, he began to sketch concepts of what is now called a hydrofoil boat. Bell and assistant Frederick W. Baldwin studied the work of the Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini and began testing models. This led him and Bell to the development of practical hydrofoil watercraft. During his world tour of —11, Bell and Baldwin met with Forlanini in France. They had rides in the Forlanini hydrofoil boat over Lake Maggiore.
Baldwin described it as being as smooth as flying. On returning to Baddeck, a number of initial concepts were built as experimental models, including the Dhonnas Beag Scottish Gaelic for little devil , the first self-propelled Bell-Baldwin hydrofoil. Pinaud's experience in boat-building enabled him to make useful design changes to the HD Bell's report to the U. Navy permitted him to obtain two horsepower kilowatts engines in July On September 9, , the HD-4 set a world marine speed record of In , Bell had begun experiments to develop motor-powered heavier-than-air aircraft.
The AEA was first formed as Bell shared the vision to fly with his wife, who advised him to seek "young" help as Bell was at the age of In , Bell experimented with tetrahedral box kites and wings constructed of multiple compound tetrahedral kites covered in maroon silk. Bell was a supporter of aerospace engineering research through the Aerial Experiment Association AEA , officially formed at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in October at the suggestion of his wife Mabel and with her financial support after the sale of some of her real estate. Curtiss , a motorcycle manufacturer at the time and who held the title "world's fastest man", having ridden his self-constructed motor bicycle around in the shortest time, and who was later awarded the Scientific American Trophy for the first official one-kilometre flight in the Western hemisphere , and who later became a world-renowned airplane manufacturer; Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge , an official observer from the U.
Federal government and one of the few people in the army who believed that aviation was the future; Frederick W. The AEA's work progressed to heavier-than-air machines, applying their knowledge of kites to gliders.
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Moving to Hammondsport, the group then designed and built the Red Wing , framed in bamboo and covered in red silk and powered by a small air-cooled engine. One of the AEA's inventions, a practical wingtip form of the aileron , was to become a standard component on all aircraft. Bell allowed it to continue with experiments. Selfridge had also become the first person killed in a powered heavier-than-air flight in a crash of the Wright Flyer at Fort Myer , Virginia , on September 17, Their final aircraft design, the Silver Dart , embodied all of the advancements found in the earlier machines.
McCurdy from the frozen ice of Bras d'Or made the first aircraft flight in Canada. Bell was connected with the eugenics movement in the United States. In his lecture Memoir upon the formation of a deaf variety of the human race presented to the National Academy of Sciences on November 13, the year of his election as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences , he noted that congenitally deaf parents were more likely to produce deaf children and tentatively suggested that couples where both parties were deaf should not marry.
The committee unequivocally extended the principle to humans.
Organizations such as these advocated passing laws with success in some states that established the compulsory sterilization of people deemed to be, as Bell called them, a "defective variety of the human race". By the late s, about half the states in the U.
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Honors and tributes flowed to Bell in increasing numbers as his invention became ubiquitous and his personal fame grew. Bell received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities to the point that the requests almost became burdensome. These included statuary monuments to both him and the new form of communication his telephone created, including the Bell Telephone Memorial erected in his honor in Alexander Graham Bell Gardens in Brantford , Ontario, in A number of historic sites and other marks commemorate Bell in North America and Europe, including the first telephone companies in the United States and Canada.
Among the major sites are:.
Alexander Graham Bell - Father of the Telephone
These included the prestigious 'Volta Laboratory Association' , also known as the Volta Laboratory and as the 'Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory', and which eventually led to the Volta Bureau as a center for studies on deafness which is still in operation in Georgetown, Washington, D. The Volta Laboratory became an experimental facility devoted to scientific discovery, and the very next year it improved Edison's phonograph by substituting wax for tinfoil as the recording medium and incising the recording rather than indenting it, key upgrades that Edison himself later adopted.
In partnership with Gardiner Greene Hubbard , Bell helped establish the publication Science during the early s. In , Bell was elected as the second president of the National Geographic Society , serving until , and was primarily responsible for the extensive use of illustrations, including photography, in the magazine.
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