The Telephone

worth over $58 in the year 1871

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell’s idea for the telephone was sparked by his studies of the human ear.

Like his father, Bell worked as a speech therapist and taught deaf people. Both his mother and his wife Mabel were deaf.

why it was invented

In 1874 Bell built a phonautograph--a device that could draw the vibrations of a human voice--to teach his deaf students how to visualize sound. Constructed out of an actual human ear, Bell’s phonautograph led him to consider that voice sounds might be conveyed electrically.