Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor Of The Telephone, International Hero

By | March 4, 2020

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Bell with an early version of the telephone. (

Although several noted inventors of the day, including Thomas Edison and Elisha Gray, were also tinkering with communication technology, it was Alexander Graham Bell who received the first patent for the telephone on March 7, 1876. Bell truly changed the world, but how did a mediocre student go on to greatness? Here is what you may not know about Alexander Graham Bell.

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American inventor Alexander Graham Bell with one of his inventions, ca. 1910. Bell engineered the first intelligible electronic transmission of voice, patented the telephone, and co-founded the National Geographic Society. (Corbis via Getty Images)

He Received His Middle Name As A Gift

When Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, he was named Alexander after his father and grandfather. As a child, however, the younger Bell was tired of being in third place on the list of Alexander Bells. To distinguish himself from his forebears, he asked his parents to give him a middle name. They dismissed his request, but Bell was persistent, so on his 11th birthday, his father finally allowed him to adopt a middle name. He chose "Graham" in honor of his father’s student, Alexander Graham, who boarded with the Bell family.