"This volume is the first fully illustrated book about Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) and the early years of the telephone - an invention that transformed the culture, social fabric, and economy of the United States and, eventually, the world. Hundreds of rare and previously unpublished images reveal early phone history, turn-of-the-century America, and the remarkable Bell family." "At the center of this book is Alexander Graham Bell himself, whose remarkably fertile imagination spawned a raft of inventions most of us have never associated with his name. Working in the United States and Canada, he devised the first practical phonograph, the metal detector, the hydrofoil, and the respirator. In addition, Bell and his associates conducted 1,200 pioneering experiments in aviation, achieving the first public airplane flight in the United States. Bell helped found the National Geographic Society and its distinguished magazine. Further, he was instrumental in bringing Montessori education to America, was involved in early civil rights efforts, and did seminal work in deaf education (he was responsible for Helen Keller meeting her teacher Annie Sullivan)." "Created with unprecedented access to private materials - one of the coauthors is Bell's great-grandson - Alexander Graham Bell reveals the inventor as a man of warmth and human frailty, loved by his wife, children, and grandchildren."--BOOK JACKET.