Alexander Graham Bell: His 3 Massive Impacts Upon The World

BornMarch 3rd, 1847
DiedAugust 2nd, 1922
Famous Quote“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”
Reason For FameInventing telephone, co-founder of AT&T, groundbreaking research in several scientific fields.
Region of WorldUnited States/Canada, 19th century
Further Reading3 Ways the Telephone Changed the Economy of the United States

Few scientists and engineers have impacted the world to the degree that Alexander Graham Bell has. Today he is remembered for 3 large impacts that have forever changed the way we communicate and view the world.

There are 3 massive impacts of Alexander Graham Bell that forever changed the world. First, Bell invented the telephone changing communication. Second, he co-found one of the world’s most successful telephone companies. Third, Alexander Graham Bell provided the world with groundbreaking research in several scientific fields.

Born in Scotland on March 3rd 1847 from a young age Bell demonstrated a naturally high level of intellectual curiosity. At the age of 12 Bell would invent an automated wheat dehusking machine and begin to self teach himself piano.

This curiosity would serve Bell his entire life. After emigrating to North America with his family he would go on to forever change the world in 3 distinct ways.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 massive impacts Alexander Graham Bell had upon the world.

Impact #1: Alexander Graham Bell Invented the Telephone

One of the massive impacts Alexander Graham Bell had upon the world was the invention of the telephone.

Few inventions have revolutionized the way we communicate over vast distances. Before the telephone there were only two ways to communicate with other people.

You could either send a letter or pay to have a telegraph sent. Letters would take considerable time (20 days on average) to get from point A to B during the 19th century. A telegram would speed up the time considerably but still was limited to the established telegram networks of the 19th century.

The world forever changed once Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Almost overnight people began to install telephones along popular telegraph networks. This allowed for North America and Europe to begin to share ideas at near lightspeed.

As a result the spread of information and vital ideas began to explode across the western world. This resulted in two massive impacts during the 19th century. First, was the massive explosion in economic development across the western world. Second, was the massive impact the telephone had upon the spread of culture and knowledge.

Impact Of The Telephone Upon The World Economy

The telephone was invented in 1876. Within 20 years all major cities in North America and most in Europe had installed telephone infrastructure to allow for rapid development of efficient markets.

Stock exchanges before telephones relied upon in person orders. This created considerable price errors due to the speed of information exchange being limited to in person communication.

The telephone forever changed how economies worked. Now a stock investor in New York could call a farmer in Kansas to learn about the current state of corn crops. This allowed for a massively efficient market to develop across the world.

Impact Of The Telephone Upon The Spread Of Culture And Knowledge

The second massive impact of the telephone upon the world was the ability for people to communicate ideas and knowledge.

For the first time professors at Oxford could communicate their ideas with other academics in Paris. This resulted in a massive explosion in ideas that further propelled the world into what we now know as the information age.

However, the larger impact of the Telephone upon the world was its impact upon the spread of culture. Alexander Graham Bell gave the world the ability to spread culture far beyond the confines of their local area.

Suddenly people living in England could hear stories of Lisbon Portugal almost in real time. Paris could listen to plays performed in Prague. Sports fans in Boston could hear about scores from Baseball stadiums in New York.

This resulted in a massive explosion in culture that today we take for granted. Before Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone the culture of the world developed much slower than it does today.

The invention of the telephone remains one of Alexander Graham Bell’s most massive impacts upon the world. This alone would be sufficient enough but Bell would go on to massively impact the world in 2 other ways.

Impact #2: Alexander Graham Bell Co-Founded One Of The Worlds Most Successful Telephone Companies AT&T

One of the massive impacts of Alexander Graham Bell was his co-founding of one of the world’s most successful telephone companies AT&T.

After securing the patent for the telephone in 1876 Bell would initially try to sell the patent to Western Union for $100,000 ($2.6 million today). The offer was refused with Western Union stating that the telephone was just a Childs toy.

Alexander Graham Bell would go on to demonstrate the impact of the telephone over a series of public demonstrations. While these demonstrations were initially designed to target a sale of the patent it quickly became apparent to Bell that his invention could be monetized under a company.

In 1877 Alexander Graham Bell would go on to co-found his company the Bell Telephone Company. Today we know this company as AT&T.

From 1877 Bell would continue to manufacture and sell telephones while also promoting his device worldwide. In 1878 Bell would demonstrate his telephone to Queen Victoria with calls placed across the British Isles. Queen Victoria immediately recognized the importance of this device and requested to buy the equipment. Bell instead made a set of custom telephones just for her.

Back in the United States from the time period of 1877 up through 1886 The Bell Telephone company sold and installed over 150,000 telephones. This massive explosion in Bell’s company established him as one of the greatest American businessmen of the 19th century.

The same CEO of Western Union that refused to buy the telephone patent for $100,000 before the Bell Telephone Company was created remarked that if he could get the patent for $25 million he would now consider it a bargain.

Shortly before his death Alexander Graham Bell would establish the world’s first transcontinental telephone call. The Bell Telephone company in 1915 created the first telephone line between San Francisco and New York.

Alexander Graham Bell’s influence would go on to impact the world through the creation of AT&T. Over the next 100 years this monolithic company would begin to invent and revolutionize the telephone industry worldwide.

Impact #3: Alexander Graham Bell Would Go On To Provide Groundbreaking Research In Several Other Scientific Fields

One of the massive impacts Alexander Graham Bell had upon the world comes from his other inventions and research.

The telephone was only the tip of the iceberg for Alexander Graham Bell. Several other inventions of Bell were several decades ahead of his time. Today Alexander Graham Bell is known for his contribution towards 3 other fields of science and study.

These 3 fields of science and study are the following. First, wireless radio communication. Second, metal detection through energy waves. Third, Aeronautics and the study of aviation.

Wireless Radio Communication

It was not the telephone that Alexander Graham Bell considered his greatest invention. Rather it was the discovery of the ability to communicate wireless through radio waves.

Two decades before the first wireless communications Bell and his assistant Charles Tainter managed to use radio waves to hold a conversation across the city of Washington DC.

This was groundbreaking. Bell’s research indicated that it was possible to send human voice communication wirelessly. Almost a century before its invention Bell had managed to lay the groundwork for the world’s first wireless cell phone.

Today many people are unaware of the impact of this discovery upon the world. The 20th century is known for its use of the radio to communicate during both WW1 and WW2.

Metal Detection Through Energy Waves

Alexander Graham Bell impacted the world through the early development of a device that has impacted billions of people worldwide, the metal detector.

In 1881 U.S President James A. Garfield was shot by an upstart political politician Charles J. Guiteau. The bullet became lodged in president Garfield’s body and physicians had trouble locating it.

Alexander Graham Bell volunteered to use a new device he had been working on that could locate metal buried in objects. This was the world’s first use of a metal detector to locate a lodged piece of metal in a person.

This first attempt proved unsuccessful however as Garfield was laying upon a mattress with metal box springs which interfered with the metal detectors readings.

The impact of this device forever changed the world. During World War One and Two metal detectors were used to clear battlefields. Today metal detectors are used for security screening purposes. Everyday billions of people worldwide are impacted by this device.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Research Into Aviation

The reason the Canadian military had planes for World War One was because of Alexander Graham Bell’s research and development of his planes.

In 1891 Bell decided to begin experimenting with motor powered aircraft. Over the next 10 years Bell would finance and develop various different planes including the influential Canadian Silver Dart.

Since Canada had considerable amounts of lakes Bell began to search for a plane that could utilize the water as a landing zone. In 1906 Bell read an article by American aviation engineer William Meacham that explained a theoretical concept of a hydrofoil.

Almost immediately Bell and his assistants began to experiment with planes that could land and take off on water. As a result of this in 1912 Bell would successfully invent the world’s first self-propelled hydrofoil plane.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article that goes over the 3 massive impacts that Alexander Graham Bell had upon the world.

Bell’s influence forever changed the world. Today billions of people worldwide interact with his inventions and influence on a daily basis. He remains one of the most influential people to have ever lived.

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Until next time,

Nick