Alexander Graham Bell – you remember his name in connection with the telephone.   What you might not know is that Bell worked with his father in London on a system for teaching the deaf to speak.  When the Bell family moved to Boston, Alexander went to work as a teacher at a school for the deaf and ended up marrying one of his students.

With the invention of the telegraph – Bell wondered if he could take it another step and instead of dots and dashes – it could transmit actual voices across wires.  The major problem with the telegraph was you still had to hand-deliver messages and only one message could be transmitted at a time.

With the help of machine shop employee Thomas Watson, Bell developed a model – not much different from the way a phone works today – electric current vibrating a diaphragm at both ends of a wire to reproduce sounds.  Three days after filing the patent, the telephone carried its first  message--the famous "Mr. Watson, come here, I need you."

Somebody else was also working on a telephone at the same time as Bell, but Bell beat Elisha Gray to the patent office by only two hours.  That patent was filed on this date in 1876.

SOURCE: HistoryChannel