NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Alexander Graham Bell who was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a scientist, an inventor, an engineer, and an innovator. Bell is best known for being the first person to patent a practical telephone.
Bell initially pursued teaching as a profession. There were several generations in his family who were involved in education and speech. In addition, Bell’s mother and wife were deaf which influenced his work. He had a passion for this area and started to research hearing devices which led to experimentation and later his development of the telephone in 1876. He founded the Bell Telephone Company in 1877. Just under ten years later, over 150,000 people in the United States owned telephones.
Later in life, Bell worked in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. He created one of the first metal detectors in 1881. He also made significant contributions to the National Geographic Society while serving there as their second president. Bell left a legacy behind when he passed away in 1922. The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada which also houses a museum dedicated to him is the only museum in the world that contains original artifacts and documents from his life.