In the bright flower fields, right outside a cabin, young Alexander sat with his dog, laughing at the remark he heard coming from the dog's mouth. "Ow ah oo ga ma ma," but Alexander's imaginative ears swore he heard the dog say, "How are you grandmamma?" To create the sound Alexander moved the dog's voice box around to cause vibrations, which make the speaking-like sounds with the movement of the jaw. This was a major influence on Alexander's life yet to come. Let us begin a few years back in the mid-eighteen hundreds, when a very special baby was born.
Alexander Bell was born March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Alexander was not given a middle name at birth, so at age eleven he decided to do something about it. After meeting a family friend from Cuba, Alexander Graham, Alexander from Scotland decided to take Graham for his middle name.
As a child Alexander was interested in many things, he always kept wondering. One thing Alexander was interested in was sounds and tones. Because of his interest, Alexander played piano; in fact he played quite well. Alexander was also especially interested in speech. He even did experiments on his dog by pressing gently on the dog's voice box to make it sound like someone was talking. Alexander had a special love for science. As a child he would bring home animals to study and dissect.
When Alexander Graham Bell was only sixteen he taught music. During his teachings, Alexander would experiment with tuning forks. A tuning fork is a metal instrument with two prongs, when one prong is hit it vibrates and it sends the vibration through a connection cord, internally making the other prong vibrate. The vibration is heard as music. Alexander, after his experiments, thought if the vibration of sound could be sent on metal prongs, couldn't he send speech on a wire?
At that time, a telegraph could only send one message over a wire. Alexander was trying to send a conversation or over one message. He called it a multiple telegraph. When Alexander was twenty-four, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts. During that time, Boston was busy with inventors, scientists, colleges and industry. What a great place for a man with high hopes of inventing.
Alexander soon made a few close friends who would help him. Mr. Sanders and Mr. Hubbard were Alexander's financial backers. They would give him money and a room to experiment, and would get a share of the eventual profits. Alexander and another friend, Tom Watson, would work endlessly during the evenings. They worked with tuning forks, wires, batteries and electro-magnets. Thanks to Alexander's sharp ear, they could make adjustments more precisely. One hot night in 1875, Alexander's invention began failing.
The sounds were bunched up as they got to the other end, and wouldn't separate. He just couldn't get the instrument to work. That was when he shared his idea about the telephone.
During the previous summer, in 1874, he figured out what