Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He had two brothers: Melville James Bell (1845–70) and Edward Charles Bell (1848–67). Both of his brothers died of tuberculosis. His father was Professor Alexander Melville Bell, and his mother was Eliza Grace. As a child, he had a natural curiosity about the world, and he had talents for art, poetry, and music. At the age of 12, Bell built a homemade device that combined rotating paddles with sets of nail brushes, creating a simple dehusking machine for wheat.
He was taught at the universities of Edinburgh and London. He immigrated to Canada in 1870 and the U.S. in 1871. There, he began to teach deaf-mutes, spreading the system of visible speech. In 1872, Bell founded a school for deaf-mutes, and soon became professor of vocal physiology in Boston University.
At the age of 18, he began to search for ways to transmit speech. In 1874, Bell developed the idea of the telephone while working on a multiple telegraph. He ran through several experiments with his assistant Thomas Watson and finally succeeded when the first sentence was transmitted: “Watson, come here, I want you.” Subsequently, Bell began to introduce the telephone to the world through experiments and demonstrations. On November 26, 1876, Bell successfully transmitted sound between Cambridge and Salem via a wire. This design became the basis of the transmitter and receiver in later years.
In 1877, Bell formed the Bell Telephone Company with investors Gardiner Hubbard and Thomas Sanders. American Bell later controlled the Western Electric Company and soon became the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Bell received the Volta Prize in 1880, and he used the money to found the Volta Laboratory in Washington D.C. There, he created new inventions such as the photophone, audiometer, and wax recording cylinder.
In his later years, Bell worked on invention relating to aeronautics and marine propulsion. He and his associates invented the hydrofoil boat and tricycle landing gear. Alexander Graham Bell died on August 2, 1922 in Baddeck, where the Canadian Government built a museum to honor his legacy.