NAMED AFTER HIS GRANDFATHER, Alexander Bell picked his middle name, Graham, from a family friend he admired. His father, Alexander Melville Bell, was a professor at the University of Edinburgh and had invented Visible Speech— a code of phonetic symbols used to represent the position of speech organs corresponding to different alphabets. His mother, Eliza Grace Bell, was a talented musician who taught his son how to play piano, though she herself was nearly deaf and used an ear tube to listen to her own tunes.
As he grew up, Graham considered a career in music at first but eventually chose to follow his father’s footsteps. At fifteen, he joined Weston House Academy as a student-teacher. During next few years, while the Bell family kept migrating, first to London and subsequently to Ontario, Canada, young Alexander Bell remained busy teaching and improving his own education.
It was around this…
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