The Erie Canal

The Erie Canal In the days before Alexander G Bells invention news and other topics of interest traveled across America quite slowly, usually becoming distorted as a result of the number of times it changed hands before the invention reached its final destination. An example of this that best exemplifies the proceeding statement is the California Gold Rush. When this news finally reached the central and eastern Americas California was made out to be a promise land with gold for the taking. As result towns popped up literally over night peppering the western United States. Although the California Gold Rush is an extreme example people of the pre phone era were also quite creative with their means of communication; the opening of the Erie Canal best shows this.

The canal was opened on October 25, 1825. The Erie Canal was a big deal for everyone within its vicinity since the Hudson and Lake Erie were now linked. This was important because instead of traveling overland, which was expensive and time, consuming. People goods and information could now be floated to their destination via the Erie Canal. Usually a typical message would take weeks or months to move across the state but not this day.

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When the canal was opened a cannon was fired in Buffalo when a man stationed further east herd the first mans blast he fired his own and so on and so forth until the rumble had traveled down the Hudson and into New York City. When the clock stopped in New York the news had traveled a total of 500 miles in a mere two hours. In 1847 a child was born into the Bell family; this child was named Alexander Gram Bell. Alexanders mother Eliza was def. In fact, the only way he could talk to her was to speak in slow deep tones very close to her forehead.

Alexander was intrigued how his def mother could understand these vibrations. This fascination was the beginning of a lifelong strife that led to numerous contributions to the social and scientific communities. Bells career as an inventor and armature scientist began when he was only 14 years old. He designed a device that was able to separate the husks from wheat by combining a nailbrush and paddle to form a brushing wheel. Bell as one might think was no ordinary child. By the age of 16 he was a music instructor at an all male boarding school.

Alexander also enjoyed to read and found himself drawn toward the German physicist Herman Von Helmlsltz who, in one of his writings discussed how vowel sound could be produced using tuning forks and resonators. The only problem with Von Helmlsltzs work was that it was in German and since Bell could not read German he made what he called a very valuable blunder. Alexander interpreted von Helmlotzs work as claiming vowel sounds could be carried over a wire. This blunder in turn began Bells experiments with electricity. Alexanders original dream was to produce a telegraph that was capable of sending multiple messages at one time. This invention when complete was to be called the harmonic telegraph. While working on this telegraph Alexander Bell acquired the assistance of a gentleman named Thomas Watson who was known for devising tools that helped in improving numerous inventions. Later while discussing ways to improve Bells harmonic telegraph the two discussed the dream of sending human voices over the telegraph wires.


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