Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Alexander Graham Bell patented his “electrical speech machine” 140 years ago. A few months later he tried unsuccessfully to sell the patent to Western Union. Apparently the company didn’t think the invention had much promise.

I think Bell would have bet the ranch that it was plain crazy to imagine that people would someday be able to walk down the street while they were talking to a friend on the other side of the world. One story has it that Bell thought folks would use the telephone primarily to listen to distant musical performances.

In his youth Bell was a dedicated tinkerer, with a steady penchant for inventing gadgets and stuff. Before the telephone became a reality, he and his brothers “built a working model of a mouth, throat, nose, and movable tongue, and attached a set of bellows for lungs. They were so successful in getting the model to wail 'MaMa' that the neighbors began to search for a child in distress.”

What are your kids inventing these days?

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2012 All rights reserved.

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