22 Brilliant quotes from Alexander Graham Bell

Born in 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Alexander Graham Bell was an inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. After emigrating to America, he co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1885.

Below are his best quotes about science, inventions, and of course the telephone.

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The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.
Alexander Graham Bell
The inventor is a man who looks around upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea. The spirit of invention possesses him, seeking materialisation.
Alexander Graham Bell
Don't keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone and following one after the other like a flock of sheep. Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods.
Alexander Graham Bell
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Alexander Graham Bell
A man's own judgement should be the final appeal in all that relates to himself.
Alexander Graham Bell
The inventor...looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea.
Alexander Graham Bell
It is not, of course, complete yet - but some sentences were understood this afternoon... I feel that I have at last struck the solution of a great problem - and the day is coming when telegraph wires will be laid onto houses just like water or gas - and friends converse with each other without leaving home.
Alexander Graham Bell
The telephone will be used to inform people that a telegram has been sent.
Alexander Graham Bell
The final result of our researches has widened the class of substances sensitive to light vibrations, until we can propound the fact of such sensitiveness being a general property of all matter.
Alexander Graham Bell
Observe, Remember, Compare.
Alexander Graham Bell
We are all too much inclined, I think, to walk through life with our eyes shut. There are things all round us and right at our very feet that we have never seen, because we have never really looked.
Alexander Graham Bell
Neither the Army nor the Navy is of any protection, or very little protection, against aerial raids.
Alexander Graham Bell
It is hardly an exaggeration to say that oral teachers and sign teachers found it difficult to sit down in the same room without quarrelling, and there was intolerance upon both sides. To say 'oral method' to a sign teacher was like waving a red flag in the face of a bull, and to say 'sign language' to an oralist aroused the deepest resentment.
Alexander Graham Bell
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.
Alexander Graham Bell
Educate the masses, elevate their standard of intelligence, and you will certainly have a successful nation.
Alexander Graham Bell
The achievement of one goal should be the starting point of another.
Alexander Graham Bell
Watson, ... if I can get a mechanism which will make a current of electricity vary in its intensity, as the air varies in density when a sound is passing through it, I can telegraph any sound, even the sound of speech.
Alexander Graham Bell
America is a country of inventors, and the greatest of inventors are the newspaper men.
Alexander Graham Bell
My knowledge of electrical subjects was not acquired in a methodical manner but was picked up from such books as I could get hold of and from such experiments as I could make with my own hands.
Alexander Graham Bell
I do not recognise the right of the public to break in the front door of a man's private life in order to satisfy the gaze of the curious... I do not think it right to dissect living men even for the advancement of science. So far as I am concerned, I prefer a post mortem examination to vivisection without anaesthetics.
Alexander Graham Bell
Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.
Alexander Graham Bell
The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion.
Alexander Graham Bell
In this experiment, made on the 9th of October, 1876, actual conversation, backwards and forwards, upon the same line, and by the same instruments reciprocally used, was successfully carried on for the first time upon a real line of miles in length.
Alexander Graham Bell
I would impress upon your minds the fact that if you want to do a man justice, you should believe what a man says himself rather than what people say he says.
Alexander Graham Bell
The nation that secures control of the air will ultimately control the world.
Alexander Graham Bell
Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself.
Alexander Graham Bell
What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
Alexander Graham Bell
It is a neck-and-neck race between Mr. Gray and myself who shall complete our apparatus first. He has the advantage over me in being a practical electrician - but I have reason to believe that I am better acquainted with the phenomena of sound than he is - so that I have an advantage there.
Alexander Graham Bell
I have discovered that my interest in my dear pupil, Mabel, has ripened into a far deeper feeling than that of mere friendship. In fact, I know that I have learned to love her very sincerely.
Alexander Graham Bell
What this power is, I cannot say... All I know is that it exists.
Alexander Graham Bell
From my earliest childhood, my attention was specially directed to the subject of acoustics, and specially to the subject of speech, and I was urged by my father to study everything relating to these subjects, as they would have an important bearing upon what was to be my professional work.
Alexander Graham Bell
Such a chimerical idea as telegraphing vocal sounds would indeed, to most minds, seem scarcely feasible enough to spend time in working over. I believe, however, that it is feasible and that I have got the cue to the solution of the problem.
Alexander Graham Bell
Morse conquered his electrical difficulties although he was only a painter, and I don't intend to give in either till all is completed.
Alexander Graham Bell
Concentrate all your thoughts on the task at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
Alexander Graham Bell
I have heard articulate speech produced by sunlight I have heard a ray of the sun laugh and cough and sing! … I have been able to hear a shadow, and I have even perceived by ear the passage of a cloud across the sun's disk.
Alexander Graham Bell
The day will come when the man at the telephone will be able to see the distant person to whom he is speaking.
Alexander Graham Bell
I have had the feeling that a properly constructed flying-machine should be capable of being flown as a kite; and conversely, that a properly constructed kite should be capable of use as a flying-machine when driven by its own propellers.
Alexander Graham Bell
Dumbness comes from the fact that a child is born deaf and that it consequently never learns how to articulate, for it is by the medium of hearing that such instruction is acquired.
Alexander Graham Bell
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The Sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
Alexander Graham Bell
One day every major city in America will have a telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell
You cannot force ideas. Successful ideas are the result of slow growth. Ideas do not reach perfection in a day, no matter how much study is put upon them.
Alexander Graham Bell
Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do, you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.
Alexander Graham Bell
There are two critical points in every aerial flight-its beginning and its end.
Alexander Graham Bell
God has strewn our paths with wonders and we certainly should not go through life with our eyes shut.
Alexander Graham Bell
I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton out-rivals them all!
Alexander Graham Bell
It is the man who carefully advances step by step...who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree.
Alexander Graham Bell
Man is an animal which, alone among the animals, refuses to be satisfied by the fulfilment of animal desires.
Alexander Graham Bell
There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.
Alexander Graham Bell
Night is a more quiet time to work. It aids thought.
Alexander Graham Bell
A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with – a man is what he makes of himself.
Alexander Graham Bell
Ordinary people who know nothing of phonetics or elocution have difficulties in understanding slow speech composed of perfect sounds, while they have no difficulty in comprehending an imperfect gabble if only the accent and rhythm are natural.
Alexander Graham Bell
Mr. Watson — Come here — I want to see you. [First intelligible words spoken over the telephone].
Alexander Graham Bell
The great advantage [the telephone] possesses over every other form of electrical apparatus consists in the fact that it requires no skill to operate the instrument.
Alexander Graham Bell
Wherever you may find the inventor, you may give him wealth or you may take from him all that he has; and he will go on inventing. He can no more help inventing that he can help thinking or breathing.
Alexander Graham Bell
Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
Alexander Graham Bell
Man is the result of slow growth; that is why he occupies the position he does in animal life. What does a pup amount to that has gained its growth in a few days or weeks, beside a man who only attains it in as many years.
Alexander Graham Bell
Grand telegraphic discovery today … Transmitted vocal sounds for the first time ... With some further modification I hope we may be enabled to distinguish … the “timbre” of the sound. Should this be so, conversation viva voce by telegraph will be a fait accompli.
Alexander Graham Bell
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