He Started it All

07 Mar

AGBOne hundred and forty years ago today, Alexander Graham Bell filed his patent for the telephone. I’m fairly certain Mr. Bell had no idea what he’d unleashed on the world. His cumbersome contraption of wires, diaphragms, and tubes bears no resemblance to the device resting in almost everyone’s pocket today with its slick glass screen that connects the holder to the world.

Idiagramn 1876, Mr. Bell filed his patent and entered the history books. Ironically, he filed only two hours before a similar patent was filed by Elisha Gray. Not wanting to be cut out of this new emerging technology, the powerful Western Union Telegraph Company hired Mr. Gray and well-known inventor Thomas A. Edison to develop their own prototype. Mr. Bell sued to uphold his patent. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld the Bell patent. The Bell Telephone Company would withstand many lawsuits in the years to come as it evolved into what we now know as American Telephone and Telegraph … or AT&T.

How did Alexander Graham Bell come up with the idea of such an invention? Born in Scotland, he worked his younger years with his father in London. Melville Bell had developed a written system to teach speaking to the deaf. When he moved to Boston in 1872, Alexander established a school for the deaf there. In the next year he became a professor in speech and vocal physiology at Boston University. Throughout his life he described himself as a “teacher of the deaf.” Speech was, you might say, the focal point of his life.

firstcallHis background and dedication to speech and sound, along with his keen scientific mind, made him the logical candidate to invent the telephone. But he didn’t stop there. With the money he made on his telephone patent, Mr. Bell went on to found and finance both the journal Science and the National Geographic Society.

And yet – he never allowed a telephone to be installed in his study, lest it distract him from his work.

That, my friends, is the lesson for today. Jot us a comment on how you interpret the lesson as it applies to your life and work.

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped





Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Pegg Thomas


Tags: , , ,

4 responses to “He Started it All

  1. Robin Patchen

    March 7, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Grateful to Mr. Bell. Most of the time. 🙂


  2. Jericha Kingston

    March 8, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    He had more resolve than I. My phone is always on and with me unless I’m in church or class.


  3. kerouser

    March 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Funny, I completely forgot my cell phone twice when I went out this past week and was thinking
    that I was trying to tell myself that I didn’t really want to have it with me. Then again, using it’s
    GPS a different day kept me from getting completely lost on a dirt road in the dark! I do kind
    of miss the days though when a phone was just a phone!


    • Pegg Thomas

      March 14, 2016 at 11:51 am

      I do too, Kathy. We bought into a 2-year plan with the current phones (never again) and once that is met, I plan on going back to a flip-phone that is just … a phone! I decided a really don’t need a phone that duplicates what I can already do on my laptop or tablet. I’d rather save the $$$.



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