Sunday, 14 September 2008

Alexander Graham Bell

So today, I visited the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell, at a place called Baddeck in Nova Scotia.

He moved there in the late 1880’s,using the house first as a summer home, later choosing to live there full time. He built what was to become a 37-roomed house that he called ‘Beinn Bhreagh’, Gaelic for ‘Beautiful Mountain’……or at least, that’s what he told the locals!

The area is truly beautiful…and when I describe it as a picture-perfect-painted-postcard-place, its not because I like alliteration or because I have already used up all the adjectives that I know….but because in truth, it is simply stunning……the scenery and the beauty of the lake are something that a weary eye can take comfort in beholding.

The town runs around a large salt-water lake with the lawn sweeping down to the beach; old weathered clapboard houses, proudly flying the ‘maple leaf’ flag.

He was an interesting man.

His wife-10 years younger than he was-,had started out as his patient.

She was deaf and had difficulty in speaking
Her father was a millionaire.
Uh huh.

She was also quite good looking.

And apart from inventing the telephone, he also invented a multi-channel telegraph; formed an aviation consortium that successfully flew the first powered flight in Canada (and thus, in the British Empire, as the guide so tactfully put it).

He also successfully tested and sold hydrofoil boats, indeed even a revolutionary hydrofoil torpedo.

The most amazing telephone he invented though was one that used a beam of sunlight to transmit a message.
Yes, it works. I tried it
Of course, it doesn’t work at night; it doesn’t support text messaging and you can’t take photos.

But, using sunlight, you can talk to anyone in a line-of-sight field.

More amazing of course, is that 100 years later, and 30 miles down the road, there are no internet cafes; there is only one cell phone provider; and the locals think that "broadband width" relates to the size of their snow tires.


Or as they say here, “Oy….Eh”

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