Alexander Graham Bell 1847–1922
To be known just for my invention of the telephone causes me a certain degree of sorrow. If I am to be known for anything, I would rather it be my work developing methods to teach deaf children to speak, for I have devoted much of my life and money to this cause. Helen Keller, who is now a household name, was one of my most gifted students.
My invention of the telephone grew out of my work with hearing and speech. I was not an authority on electricity, nor was I adept at constructing gadgets and gizmos (my assistant Watson saved me here) but I was an expert in the physiology and anatomy of hearing and speech, partly as a result of my family background. A doctor friend of my father's even supplied me with the ears of cadavers to help me understand how hearing works. It was this knowledge of the human ear that helped me invent the telephone.
And my life of invention didn't end with the telephone. If you visit my workshop on Cape Breton Island you can see a few of the hundreds of other projects that sprung from my mind. I died of diabetes in 1922, the same year that Frederick Banting first used insulin to save a human life.Back to top