Mar.3,1847 - Aug.2,1922

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A Brief Bell History

Following a tour of St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1974, we returned to Edinburgh where Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, to parents Alexander Melville Bell and Eliza Grace Symonds. By 1865, Bell had already experimented with electricity to convey sound.

The family moved to Canada in 1870 where they settled in Tutela Heights near Brantford, Ontario. Bell learned the Mohawk language and translated its unwritten vocabulary into his father's "Visible Speech" system. After working for six months in Boston with deaf-mutes, he returned to Brantford to continue work on his "harmonic telegraph". A pattern developed whereby Bell spent winters in Boston and summers in Brantford, concentrating on experiments in sound from 1873 on. During the summer of 1874 in Brantford, he developed a "phonautograph" which drew sound vibrations. On July 26, 1874, in Brantford, he told his father about a method to transmit sound by wire and he hired Thomas Watson as a technical assistant in March of 1875. Within three months they had demonstrated that sound could travel over one wire, and, returning to Brantford, he wrote the patent specifications there during September of 1875.

Bell applied for a patent in Britain first, since only initial submissions were accepted. The U.S. patent application was made on February 19, 1876, and thereafter Bell focussed on improving the electromagnetic telephone.

Continuing his experiments in Brantford, Bell brought home a working model of his telephone. On August 3, 1876, from the telegraph office in Mount Pleasant (8 km away from Brantford) he sent a tentative telegram indicating that he was ready for an experiment. "With curious onlookers packed into the office as witnesses, faint voices were heard replying. On the following night he amazed guests as well as his family when a message was received at the Bell home 6 km. from Brantford where people were reading and singing."

The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877.

Alexander Graham Bell Museum - 2008

On Sunday afternoon of July 13, 2008, a group at the Clan Ross AGM on Cape Breton Island decided to drive to Baddeck. Flash pictures are not permitted around the exhibits in the museum, but a few non-flash were taken near the entrance where conditions were brighter. The scenery in the park was pleasant. The brochure was copied in both official languages for an overview of our experience.





Beinn Bhreagh & The Alexander Graham Bell Estate

The schooner used its engine to manouever out from the Beddeck harbour and south into Baddeck Bay. When we had travelled far enough to take advantage of the wind, all of the sails were unfurled, and we sailed past Beinn Bhreagh (meaning "beautiful mountain" in gaelic) and a repair shop. Alexander Graham Bell is buried atop Beinn Bhreagh Mountain (seen in the background) on the 650-acre property where he and his wife resided increasingly during the final thirty-five years of his life, while retaining his US citizenship.

The captain had a frozen fish, which he waved to catch the attention of a bald eagle in the area.


On our trip in 1974, Wendy Ross asked for a photo of the location where the Silver Dart was flown during the winter (February 23, 1909). CLICK HERE for further details about the first airplane flight in Canada. Local folk say that the bay hasn't frozen over completely during recent years.



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