Chances are that you carry around a piece of Alexander Graham Bell’s legacy in your pocket. Bell is credited as the inventor of the telephone, a device that revolutionized communication worldwide by allowing people to talk to one another at great distances in real time. Though he was born in Scotland and did much of his important work in the United States, he moved with his family to Canada as a young man and eventually died here.
The year 2022 marks the 175th anniversary of Bell’s birth, as well as the 100th anniversary of his death. In his honour, the Royal Canadian Mint is issuing a series of commemorative coins called “Alexander Graham Bell: Great Inventor.” The $100 coin is the only gold coin in the series, and it pays tribute to Bell’s most famous accomplishment as well as some of his other scientific endeavours.
Alexander Graham Bell and His Work
From an early age, Alexander Graham Bell was adept at solving problems. He created his first invention at age 12, a device that removed husks from wheat grain quickly using nail brushes and rotating paddles. Bell took a personal interest in speech and communication technology because his mother was deaf. He later married a deaf woman as well.
In 1875, Bell invented a simple receiver that could transform electrical signals into sound. A year later, he made the first telephone call in recorded history to his assistant, Thomas Watson. He made the first transcontinental call, from New York to San Francisco, in 1915.
Nevertheless, there is some debate over whether Alexander Graham Bell should be credited as the inventor of the telephone. Several other scientists were working on similar inventions at the time, and even during his lifetime, Bell faced legal challenges, though none were successful. He was undoubtedly the first person to receive a patent for telephonic technology, shortly before making his breakthrough.
Bell founded the Bell Telephone Company in 1877. It underwent a name change and is known today as AT&T, while Bell Canada now operates as a separate company. Once the telephone became ubiquitous, Bell ironically refused to keep one in his study out of fear that it would become a distraction that hampered his ability to work.
Though Bell is best remembered as the inventor of the telephone, he made several other important contributions to science and history before his death at age 75. For example, he invented a device to measure hearing called an audiometer. When U.S. President James A. Garfield was shot, doctors had difficulty locating the bullet. Bell invented a device intended to help them that became known as the metal detector. He was president of the National Geographic Society from 1896 to 1904 and helped to launch Science Magazine.
In gratitude for his contributions to modern communication, every telephone in North America was silenced during Bell’s funeral in 1922.
Alexander Graham Bell $100 Gold Coin
Like most other Canadian coins, the Alexander Graham Bell: Great Inventor gold coin features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth on the obverse, along with the face value of $100. The reverse, designed by Canadian artist Simon Ng, features a portrait of Bell himself as well as one of his early innovations in telephonic technology, an experimental liquid transmitter.
The coin also pays tribute to Bell’s work in other fields. Along the outer edge are laser-engraved blueprint illustrations and patent drawings from some of Bell’s other inventions.
A Great Addition to a Collection of Coins From the Royal Canadian Mint
Today, people take for granted the ability to communicate with others in real time across long distances, but if not for Alexander Graham Bell, it may never have happened. Bell is a historical figure with ties to Canada who had an impact on people’s lives around the world. This beautiful commemorative coin pays tribute to all his scientific accomplishments, not only the one that became most famous. Check if it’s in stock and available for sale at Colonial Acres Coins.