Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers
Alexander Graham Bell's design sketch of the telephone, ca. 1876.

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

Tetrahedral Construction and Aviation

Writing of Bell's many inventions, Mabel Hubbard Bell wrote in her notes of 1907, "Now of all these inventions I am especially interested just now in Mr. Bell's Tetrahedral Construction System. . . . ". Search Tetrahedral for additional references to Bell's experiments with kites and aviation.

Mrs. Bell recognized that her husband's work with tetrahedral construction had a wider application than merely to flight, ". . . it is also applicable to the construction of towers, bridges etc., of steel and iron and of various other structures of wood. I believe its possible use in these various other ways is very great, and well worthy of being developed to the benefit of the public and incidentally of course to the credit of Mr. Bell its inventor." She was so convinced of its impact on society that she put up her own money for its commercial use. Students can use the materials in the collection to study the many applications of this invention.

Search Journal by Alexander Graham Bell 1901 to find the 1901 and 1902 journals which deal primarily with aeronautical subjects.

  • What was the history of flight at the time of Bell's experimentation?
  • How was he improving upon previous work?
  • From reading Bell's notebooks, can students see where we use Bell's inventions today?