Helen Keller

Photo Of The Day

July 7, 1908 Alexander Graham Bell (right) and his assistants observe the flight of a circular tetrahedral kite. IMAGE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

July 7, 1908
Alexander Graham Bell (right) and his assistants observe the flight of a circular tetrahedral kite.
IMAGE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Bells Flights of Fancy

While working on the telephone, Bell mentioned to Watson that their next project would be a flying machine. On his honeymoon, he told his wife Mabel that he dreamed of flying machines with telephones attached.

Alexander Graham Bell or Aleck, as he was called as a boy, would lie atop a favourite hill in Edinburgh, Scotland (where he was born in 1847) so he could be close to the sky and watched with envy and wonder as the birds flew above him.

To the end of his life Bell maintained the pure delight of a child exploring the world. Those who knew and loved him worried about his lack of concentration. Bell was a great generalist during the birth of the specialist. Bell’s future father-in-law chided him once about his inclination “to undertake every new thing that interests you & accomplish nothing of value to any one”. That was five months before the telephone was patented. It still holds the record for the most financially profitable patent ever issued. Bell was 29 years of age and the year was 1885. He was reported to have answered the phone saying, “Hoy, hoy” – never hello; and that he told his grandchildren, “It’s for calling out, not for calling in.” And that was all!

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Perkins School For The Blind. Portrait of Laura Bridgman in three-quarter profile wearing a sash around her eyes.

Photo: Perkins School For The Blind.
Portrait of Laura Bridgman in three-quarter profile wearing a sash around her eyes.

Laura Bridgman

Paved The Way For Helen Keller, So Why Have You Never Heard Of Her?

 

While Helen Keller may be culturally synonymous with the success of young deaf blind women at the turn of the 20th century, without a woman named Laura Bridgman, the world may never have known Keller’s story.

The Bridgmans were farmers; they were also evangelical Baptists, and it is possible to imagine, driving by their farm, on the edge of a mountain, or walking through the small, hilly graveyard nearby, where the family is buried, how hard and how narrowly focussed their lives must have been. In the winter of 1832, when Laura had just turned two, the family was stricken with scarlet fever. Two of the children died, and though Laura survived, it was a close call.

Read more »