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 Alexander Graham Bell

40. Alexander Graham Bell

    Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father was an expert in phonetics, the study of the sounds of languages. As a boy, Alexander became interested in sounds and speech.

    In 1870 the Bells decided to emigrate to America. They lived in Boston, where Alexander taught in a school for the deaf. There he began experimenting with a machine to help the deaf hear.

    While experimenting with this machine, Bell had an idea. Why not use electricity to send the human voice from one place to another? Bell began work on a new invention.

    For years Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, worked day and night. They rented rooms in a boardinghouse. Bell was on one floor, and Watson was on another. They tried to send speech through a wire. Finally, on March 19, 1876, Watson heard these words very clearly: "Mr. Watson, come here. I want you." Watson rushed upstairs, ran into Bell's room, and shouted, "I heard you!"

    That year was the centennial, or 100th birthday, of the United States. There was a large fair in Philadelphia, called the Centennial Exposition. One of the main attractions at the exposition was Bell's "talking machine." Thousands of visitors, including Don Pedro, the emperor of Brazil, were surprised when they saw and heard this invention. But they still thought it was just an interesting toy. They didn't know that one day this talking machine would become the telephone and would change people's lives.


1. Where was Alexander Bell born?
a. In England
b. In the USA
c. In Scotland

2. What profession did Bell’s father have?
a. A language scientist
b. A teacher
c. An inventor

3. Where did Alexander work?
a. At school for clever children
b. At school for deaf children
c. At school for difficult children

4. What did Alexander Bell want to use in his invention?
a. Electricity
b. Sound power
c. Warmth

5. When did Alexander Bell make his great invention?
a. On his birthday
b. On his parents’ anniversary
c. On the anniversary of the USA

6. How did Alexander Bell use his invention at first?
a. As a telephone
b. As an attraction
c. As a helper for deaf people

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘rushed’ (paragraph 4)?
a. Dashed
b. Jumped
c. Decided
d. Concentrated

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