Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor of the Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor of the Telephone

The Editors of Time for Kids
For ages 7 to 9
HarperCollins, 2006   ISBN: 978-0060576189

On March 10th, 1876, Alexander Graham bell carried out an experiment using a new invention which he had made. He spoke into his device to his assistant who was in a nearby room. The assistant heard Alexander's words and they knew that the device had worked; history was made.

From the time when he was still a young boy Alexander was interested in sound and speech. His father was a speech specialist and an inventor and it was not long before Alexander - or Alec as his family called him ? was helping his father in his work.

When he was a young man he continued working in the field of speech and he became a teacher. It was a vocation that he was good at and which he enjoyed, often working with deaf children to help them communicate with the hearing world. He and his father developed and worked on a system called Invisible Speech which they believed would greatly help the deaf.

After the death of his two brothers the Bell family moved to Canada. Alec and his father continued to work on their Invisible Speech project and in 1871 Alex went to Boston to teach at a school for the deaf.

In addition to working with the deaf Alec worked on inventions. He began by developing the harmonic telegraph, a telegraph machine which could send and receive messages at the same time. His successes encouraged him to try to find a way to ?send speech over a wire.? With the financial help of friends Alec began to work on his idea and two years later his telephone was used for the first time.

In this book the editors of Time not only tell the story of Alec's life and his achievements, but they also paint an interesting portrait of his time and his world. Full of excellent annotated photographs this is a first-rate title for young readers.