Alexander Graham Bell Day is celebrated on March 7 every year. It was on this day that Bell was granted a patent for “transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically,” and on March 10, Bell made the now iconic statement, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you,” through a transmitter. His assistant Thomas Watson, who was in the next room, received the ‘call’ and heard the voice clearly — thus, the first telephone call was made. In honor of the day, he was granted the patent, people around the world celebrate March 7 as a day of innovation and invention. The holiday is recognized by an official act of the legislature in Nova Scotia, Canada.
History of Alexander Graham Bell Day
Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist and inventor who is best known for inventing the telephone. Bell was born on March 3, 1847, and all through his life, he was encouraged by his partially deaf mother to pursue scientific study. Bell’s father was an influential figure who taught deaf students and fostered communication within the deaf community, something which Bell himself was great at from a very young age. Bell went on to work with the deaf community throughout his own life and eventually married a deaf woman just like his father had done. His mother, Eliza Grace Symonds, and wife, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, both lost their hearing due to childhood illness.
It was Bell’s determination to help deaf people that inspired most of his inventions, including the telephone. He was working on making improvements to the telegraph system when he got the idea to try transmitting speech telegraphically, something that hadn’t been done before. That was what led to the telephone. Telephones have become such an important part of our society today, and many innovations in communication have been made since then. In addition to the telephone, Bell is also credited with inventing the metal detector and developing the Hydrodome, a watercraft that set a world marine speed record in 1919. He was the second elected president of the National Geographic Society.
We celebrate Bell and his many accomplishments on Alexander Graham Bell Day.
Alexander Graham Bell Day timeline
Alexander Graham Bell is born in Edinburgh, U.K.
Bell marries Mabel Hubbard.
Bell passes away at the age of 75.
The Alexander Graham Bell Museum is built on a National Historic Site dedicated to him in Nova Scotia, Canada, and his daughters donate many artifacts to be put on display.
Alexander Graham Bell Day FAQs
Who owns the patent for the telephone?
Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first successful patent, and so he is widely regarded as the inventor of the telephone. However, scientists such as Antonio Meucci — who received a caveat before Bell received his patent — and Elisha Gray also developed talking telegraph designs.
What else did Alexander Graham Bell invent?
Bell made notable developments in sonic technologies including the photophone in 1880 and the Graphophone in 1886. In an effort to save President James Garfield’s life in 1881, Bell was also instrumental in developing new medical technology to find a bullet in President Garfield’s torso. This led to the invention of the metal detector.
What was the first phone number ever?
The number is now written as 1-212-736-5000. According to the hotel’s website, Pennsylvania 6-5000 is New York’s oldest continually assigned telephone number and possibly the oldest in the world.
How to Observe Alexander Graham Bell Day
Read about his inventions
Learn more about the science and technology behind the telephone and the cell phone on Alexander Graham Bell Day. Discover his other less popular inventions too.
Visit your local telecommunications museum
This is a great way to celebrate Alexander Graham Bell Day, especially if you have kids. Don’t forget to take lots of photographs.
Say thanks to Bell
Every time you call a friend or text someone, send a silent thank you to Bell. Without him, we may never have progressed this far in telecommunications.
5 Facts About Telephones That Will Blow Your Mind
The word has a Greek origin
It comes from the Greek words ‘tele,’ which means ‘far,’ and ‘phone,’ which means ‘voice.’
Bell suggested ‘Ahoy’
In 1877, Thomas Edison suggested using the word ‘Hello’ to answer a telephone call instead.
The first permanent telephone wire
It was built in 1877 and stretched for a mere three miles.
The prototype for the handheld phone
It took Motorola about 10 years to develop the world’s first cell phone.
Many countries use 911 for emergencies
The number is used in Aruba, Belize, Guam, Honduras, Canada, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, and Peru, among other countries.
Why Alexander Graham Bell Day is Important
It celebrates an illustrious life
Alexander Graham Bell was a great man. Long after his death, he continues to inspire people with his life and work. This unofficial holiday celebrates his illustrious life.
It encourages scientific thinking
Alexander Graham Bell Day encourages scientific thinking. It urges us to be innovative and rational in our everyday lives.
It honors a monumental invention
We cannot imagine life without the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell Day celebrates the invention that changed the course of human history and how we communicate.
Alexander Graham Bell Day dates