Was Alexander Graham Bells invention of the telephone inspired by the hearing-impaired?
Alexander Graham Bell’s mother and wife both were hearing-impaired. Bell’s grandfather was an authority on phonetics and defective speech, while his father was a world-renowned teacher of elocution. These influences led Bell to become a teacher of the deaf and to focus most of his intellectual interests on ways to make life easier for the hearing impaired. Bell taught elocution and his father’s “Visual Speech” – a method of communicating with the deaf. Bell always considered himself an advocate of the deaf. In fact, Helen Keller dedicated her autobiography to him. Bell’s inventive endeavors were usually related to acoustics. The invention of the telephone was based on Bell’s work with his “harmonic telegraph.” Using his knowledge of harmonics, Bell theorized that – like a musical chord – several messages could be sent over the same electrical wire at the same time if they differed in pitch. This work later led to transmitting voices over wire – the telephone. For his invention of the t