Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for August 10th!
On August 10, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell makes the world’s First long-distance telephone call from Brantford to the Bell homestead near Paris, Ontario. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada, looks at the amazing career Alexander Graham Bell.
Scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator, Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Alexander was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847. To close relatives and friends he was known as “Aleck”.
This Canadian history for kids article continues with how at 16, Alexander Graham Bell accepted a position at Weston House Academy in Elgin, Scotland, where he taught elocution and music to students, many older than he. At the end of the term, Alexander returned home and joined his father, promoting Melville Bell’s technique of Visible Speech, which taught the deaf to use symbols with a particular position of the speech organs (lips, tongue, and palate).
This Canadian history for kids article continues in 1870 when Bell and his parents travelled on the SS Nestorian to Canada. After landing at Quebec City, the purchased a farm of 10.5 acres near Brantford, Ontario. The property consisted of an orchard, large farm house, stable, pigsty, hen-house and a carriage house, which bordered the Grand River.
This Canadian history for kids article continues at the homestead where Bell set up his own workshop in the converted carriage house near to what he called his “dreaming place”. Despite his frail condition upon arriving in Canada, He continued his interest in the study of the human voice and when he discovered the Six Nations Reserve across the river at Onondaga, he learned the Mohawk language and translated its unwritten vocabulary into Visible Speech symbols. For his work, Bell was awarded the title of Honorary Chief and participated in a ceremony where he donned a Mohawk headdress and danced traditional dances.
By 1874, Bell’s initial work on the harmonic telegraph had entered a early stage with progress it made both at his new Boston “laboratory” as well as at his family home in Canada. While working that summer in Brantford, Bell experimented with a “phonautograph”, a pen-like machine that could draw shapes of sound waves on smoked glass by tracing their vibrations.
Bell hired Thomas Watson as his assistant, and the two of them experimented with acoustic telegraphy. This Canadian history for kids article continues on June 2, 1875 when Watson accidentally plucked one of the reeds used in the new device and Bell, at the receiving end of the wire, heard the overtones of the reed; overtones that would be necessary for transmitting speech. The telephone had been invented!
Bell worked on his famous invention at his family’s home in Brantford, and he made the world’s first long-distance phone call from this location on August 10, 1876. There were actually three successful tests; from the Homestead to the general store in Mount Pleasant just south of Brantford, from Brantford to the Bell Homestead, and from a shop in the village of Paris to the Homestead. Bell’s invention changed the world
And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.