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Alexander Graham Bell: The Spirit of Invention (Amazing Stories)

Alexander Graham Bell: The Spirit of Invention (Amazing Stories)


The Spirit of Invention

In 1876, at only 29 years old, Alexander Graham Bell completed the invention that would turn him into a household name: the telephone. In so doing, he forever changed the way people communicate. But the telephone was just one of the many inventions Bell produced and shared with the world. Driven by a deep curiosity and a keen scientific mind, he worked on groundbreaking inventions in an astonishing range of fields, including aviation and medicine. This is the amazing story of his most important discoveries, and his passionate, lifelong quest to improve the way things work.


It was 8:15 p.m., a quarter of an hour after the time they had agreed on. The large crowd of curious townspeople buzzed with chatter, oblivious to the consternation of the intense young man in their midst. He was hoping to hear his Uncle David’s voice coming over the wire as arranged, but something wasn’t right.

Alec had carefully planned a musical programme for the evening to demonstrate his new invention to the citizens of Paris, Ontario. The transmitter was set up at the Brantford telegraph office, some 13 kilometres away. There, Alec’s uncle and several other willing participants were going to entertain the listeners in Paris.

At the moment they were singing their hearts out in Brantford, not knowing that at the other end of the line, all that could be heard were “explosive sounds like the discharge of distant artillery” coming through the receiver. The din was deafening. Alec’s heart sank. What could be wrong? He had already done two other long-distance tests of his apparatus with what he considered “perfect success.” Now, in front of all the local notables, he was going to look a perfect fool.

Suddenly he had a brain wave. The problem must be the electromagnetic coils. He turned to the telegraph operator standing by and asked him to telegraph a message to Brantford: “Quickly, change the magnet on your transmitter to a higher resistance.” He did the same to his receiver. He was almost afraid of what he might hear, but, to his great relief, this time “the vocal sounds came out clearly and strongly.”

Dramatically, he invited the members of the audience to listen to entertainers a full 13 kilometres away, something that had never before happened in the history of the world...

About the Author

Born in Montreal, Jennifer Groundwater moved to the Rockies in 1993 for one summer. She fell in love with the mountains, and now makes her home in Canmore, Alberta, where she enjoys the outdoor lifestyle to the full with her husband, son, dog and cat. Jennifer is a freelance writer and photographer, and the author of Western Canada: An Altitude SuperGuide. This is her first Amazing Story.

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