The Telephone Patent
While trying to perfect a method for carrying multiple messages on a single wire, he heard the sound of a plucked spring along 60 feet of wire in a Boston electrical shop. Thomas A. Watson, one of Bell's assistants, was trying to reactivate a telegraph transmitter. Hearing the sound, Bell believed that he could solve the problem of sending a human voice over a wire. He figured out how to transmit a simple current first, and received a patent for that invention on March 7, 1876. Five days later, he transmitted actual speech. Sitting in one room, he spoke into the phone to his assistant in another room, saying the now famous words: "Mr. Watson, come here. I need you." The telephone patent is one of the most valuable patents ever issued.
- Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847.
- Bell had other inventions as well -- his own home had a precursor to modern day air conditioning, he contributed to aviation technology, and his last patent, at the age of 75, was for the fastest hydrofoil yet invented.
- Bell died on August 2, 1922. On the day of his burial, all telephone service in the US was stopped for one minute in his honor.
Bell’s mother and wife were both deaf, this had a major influence on his work.
Bell experimented with sound, working with devices such as a ‘harmonic telegraph’ (used to send multiple messages over a single wire) and a ‘phonautograph’ (used to record sound).