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Alexander Graham Bell

Unidentified Artist
Alexander Graham Bell, 3 Mar 1847 - 2 Aug 1922
c. 1895
Platinum print
Image/Sheet: 14.9 × 9.6 cm (5 7/8 × 3 3/4")
Mount: 15.7 × 11.4 cm (6 3/16 × 4 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Edinburgh, Scotland
Inventor Alexander Graham Bell sparked a communications revolution when he patented the telephone in 1876. But Bell considered his work with the deaf to be his true calling. Born to a deaf mother and a father renowned for his work in enunciation, Bell adapted his father’s work—a visual, symbolic alphabet for use in producing spoken sounds—for use in teaching speech to the deaf. He opened a teacher training school and became a leader in the education of the deaf. Bell’s teaching speech to the deaf was not viewed favorably by all; many advocates thought signing was the appropriate language for the hearing-impaired.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection