MassMoments reminds us that on this day – March 7, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone – a device that could transmit human speech over a wire. Bell’s patents and the success of the Bell Telephone Company, which he established in 1877, made the young inventor a very rich man. His investor’s also did well financially including Greater-Lowellian Dr. Moses Greeley Parker, a man of foresight, destined to become a wealthy man through Bell’s invention and his own recognition of its prospective significance. His fortune funded the formation of the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, now dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations in the city of Lowell. Also the Parker Lecture Series owes it existence to the largess of Dr. Parker’s will. As Lowell history buffs will attest – Parker is credited with inventing the telephone directory system – so you can thank him for your telephone number!
…in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. Born in Scotland, Bell settled in Boston when he was in his early 20s. He made his living as a teacher of the deaf; on the side he tinkered with transmitters and electromagnets. In the summer of 1876, Bell gave the first public demonstration of the “electrical speech machine” he had invented. A few months later he achieved his ultimate goal: transmitting and receiving spoken words over a telephone line. When Bell died on August 2, 1922, the nation’s telephones went silent for one minute in a fitting tribute to a man who had done so much to further oral communication.