Alexander Graham Bell



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Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh in 1847. His father was a world-famous teacher of speech and the inventor of a system which he called "Visible Speech". It helped deaf (глухой) persons to pronounce words they could not hear. Alexander chose the same profession, and as his father became a teacher of the deaf, he moved to the United States and began to teach deaf children to speak. At the same time he worked at improving his father's invention.

In 1866, the nineteen-year-old Bell started thinking about sending tones (звуки) by telegraph. It was then that there came to his mind the idea of the "harmonic telegraph", which would send musical tones electrically from one place to another. Bell was not a scientist. So he had to give all his energy and time to one thing only - knowledge of electricity. There was little time for rest and little time to eat. Hour after hour, day and night he and his friend Watson worked at testing and experimenting with the telephone. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not.

"We have to do something to make our telephone work better," Bell used to say again and again.

At last they decided to try a new kind of transmitter (микрофон). The new transmitter was set (устанавливать) in Bell's bedroom. Watson was sitting in the laboratory. He put his ear to the receiver (трубка) and was waiting. Suddenly he heard Bell's voice. And not the voice only but the words too.

"Mr. Watson, come here. I want you."

It was on the 10th of March, 1876. Alexander Graham Bell had invented the telephone.

In a few years there were telephones all over the world. In 1915, the first transcontinental telephone line was opened. Graham Bell, a very old man now, sat in New York at a desk with a telephone before him, while his friend Watson was listening more than three hundred thousand miles away in San Francisco. People were interested what speech Bell had prepared for that great day, on which the telephone invented by him was to carry sound from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific.

Bell was sitting in a big hall; there were many people in it. Everyone expected to hear a serious, scientific speech. Suddenly everybody heard his clear voice as he spoke into his old transmitter, "Mr. Watson, come here. I want you." He repeated the words which he had said almost forty years ago. Much to the amusement (удовольствие) of the people Watson answered, "I would be glad (рад) to come, but it would take me a week."



1. Complete sentences choosing the variant corresponding to the contents of the text.
1. Alexander Bell was …………………..

a) an engineer;

b) teacher;

c) doctor.


2. He worked at inventing …………………..

a) radio-set;

b) tape-recorder;

c) telephone.


3. He worked at it …………………..

a) alone;

b) with his friend;

c)with a group of scientists.


4. The first transcontinental telephone line was opened between ……………..

a) New York and San Francisco;

b) Paris and London;

c) Rome and Berlin.


5. During the experiment Mr. Watson heard …………………..

a) Bell very badly;

b) Bell very well;

c)nothing.


2. Answer the following questions:
1. What did Alexander Bell's father invent?

2. Whom and where did Alexander Bell teach?

3. What did Alexander Bell begin to work at when he was nineteen years old?

4. What device did A. Bell use which made his invention work well?

5. How many years later was the first transcontinental telephone line opened?

6. Who made the first test of the transcontinental telephone line between New York and San Francisco?



7. What did Bell say on the opening of this line and what impression did it make on the listeners?


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