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Alexander Graham Bell's design sketch of the telephone, ca. 1876.

[Detail] Alexander Graham Bell's design sketch of the telephone

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Collection Overview

Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, 1862-1939, consists of correspondence, scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs. The papers document the invention of the telephone, the first telephone company, Bell's family life, interest in the education of the deaf, and aeronautical and other scientific research. The collection includes Bell's experimental notebook with the entry in which he spoke through the first telephone saying, "Mr. Watson -- Come here -- I want to see you." Bell's various roles as teacher, inventor, celebrity, and family man are covered extensively in his papers.

You may go directly to the collection, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress, in American Memory.

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Special Features

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Historical Eras

These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection although they may not be all-encompassing.

  • The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
  • Development of the Industrial United States, 1876-1915
  • Emergence of Modern America, 1890-1930

Related Collections and Exhibits

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Search the descriptive information and/or full text of items in the collection using the keyword search, or by selecting from Subject Index and Contributor Index.

You may also browse Sites and Collections, which groups items in the collection by Family Papers, General Correspondence, Subject File, and Laboratory Notebooks. For help with general search strategies, see Finding Items in American Memory.