Inventor Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Known as “Aleck,” he was groomed to carry on the family vocation of speech correction and elocution. Though he had other interests, he promoted his father’s Visible Speech (a phonetic technique) for the deaf. In 1870 the Bells emigrated to Canada for health reasons, and later, while teaching at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes, Aleck became involved with concepts for multiple-signal telegraph transmissions using audio frequencies, which led to Bell’s experiments in acoustic telegraphy to transmit sound. In 1874-1875, Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, worked on an electrical voice-transmitting device and applied for a patent for the concept, granted in 1876. Electrical engineer Elisha Gray also filed for a similar patent. AT&T, the long-distance unit of Bell Telephone Co., was incorporated on Bell’s birthday in 1885. Pictured: Bell calling Chicago from New York, 1892.