These were the first words spoken over the telephone on March 7, 1876, by inventor Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant Thomas Watson. He originally called it the “harmonic telegraph” as it was the next logical progression from Samuel F. B. Morse’s “dit-dit-dash” communication system. Bell was born on this day in 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The ability to communicate instantaneously to people next door or around the world is something we take for granted. Yet it’s difficult to imagine the world without the telephone. Nowadays we’re not even tethered to a cable, we bring our phones along with is. In fact, the accompanying photograph of Arlys’ novelty telephone (now devoid of that functionality since we have no land-line) was taken with my cell phone.
Bell’s other inventions included:
- A wheat husker, which he developed at age 14
- The “photophone,” a form of wireless communication using a beam of light
- The metal detector, first devised as a medical device to retrieve (unsuccessfully) the bullet from President James Garfield after he was shot.
- The hydrofoil boat, which achieved a speed of 70 mph way back in 1919.
- Bell may not have been as prolific as Thomas Edison, but his discoveries were in a similarly broad number of fields.
Image of Alexander Graham Bell By Moffett Studio – Library and Archives Canada / C-017335, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1559
Logo of AT&T – http://www.porticus.org/Transferred from en.wikipedia by SreeBot, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17836546