Alexander Graham Bell's Inventions: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Casey Krone
Alexander Graham Bell invented many things. This lesson will cover his most famous invention: the telephone. It will also discuss some of his many other inventions and the way that they have allowed us to communicate more easily today!

Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor of the Telephone

Can you imagine not being able to pick up a phone to call a friend, or a family member? Today, we have cell phones, email, and other forms of sending messages to those we want to communicate with. This hasn't always been the case. Before the late 1870s, most messages had to be delivered by hand. Imagine how long it would take to send a text message that way!

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland in 1847. His mother was deaf, which means she could not hear. Helping the deaf learn to read lips and even speak was something that Bell's father had been studying, and Alexander Graham Bell became interested too. This interest led him to experiment with sound and speech transmission.

The Telephone

After experimenting for some time, Bell realized he could transmit, or send, sound waves across wires, which led him to inventing the telephone in 1876.

An early version of the telephone, which Alexander Graham Bell is most famous for inventing.

Bell got his telephone design to work only three days after receiving the patent. A patent is a type of right or permission that an inventor receives after creating an invention. If an inventor has a patent, this means that inventor can then make and sell his or her invention without anyone else being able to make and sell that same invention.

Bell began to attend public demonstrations to show how the telephone worked. At one point, Bell offered to sell the patent to a company called Western Union, however, Western Union didn't believe the telephone was anything serious and they didn't buy it, a decision they would soon regret. A year after Bell invented the telephone, the Bell Telephone Company was created. They had over 150,000 customers or subscribers around ten years later.

Other Inventions

Although Alexander Graham Bell is best known for his invention of the telephone, he invented many other things. In fact, in his lifetime, Bell was given patents for eighteen other inventions on his own, and twelve other inventions that he worked on with others. He invented the photophone in 1880, which allowed for sounds to be transmitted wirelessly over beams of light. Though this invention wasn't put to use for many years, Bell believed it was his greatest invention.

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