So Alexander Graham Bell was calling his strange invention a telephone! Almost everybody else, back in the 1870's, laughingly called the contraption an electric toy.
The young inventor was puzzled. He had given up his dreams of teaching the deaf to speak. He had worked himself into a serious illness. He and his friend, Thomas Watson, had lived in poverty while they completed their experiments on the telephone. Did people believe that a sensible man would sacrifice so much to create a toy?
But although Bell was frail in health, there was nothing frail about his belief in the value of his work. He was determined to prove that his telephone was useful and practical.
In Mr. Bell Invents the Telephone Katherine Shippen gives us a life-like picture of the young teacher who left Scotland to become one of our greatest inventors, and tells an exciting story of the difficulties he overcame before he could complete and establish the telephone.
We also see, working at Bell's side, the two persons who were closest to him: Thomas Watson, almost without schooling but with a keen mind and clever hands; and Bell's completely deaf wife, Mabel Hubbard Bell, who encouraged him to continue when others said, "It can't be done!"
This story of a young man who refused to be defeated will thrill readers who enjoy true stories of invention, accomplishment, and great courage.
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