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From Sea to Sky: How Alexander Graham Bell Transformed Transportation

  • Nov 03, 2022
  • History
  • 7 minute read

Alexander Graham Bell is best known for creating the telephone, but his impact on the world far exceeds that one invention. His ceaseless drive to create and innovate resulted in a variety of ground-breaking inventions—many of which we still see iterations of today. Notably, his work in transportation—primarily in aviation, but also in watercraft—left a lasting impression on the industry.

History
History

Photo: Silver Dart (Courtesy of Parks Canada), HD-4 Hydrofoil boat (Courtesy of Parks Canada)

Alexander Graham Bell is best known for creating the telephone, but his impact on the world far exceeds that one invention. His ceaseless drive to create and innovate resulted in a variety of ground-breaking inventions—many of which we still see iterations of today. Notably, his work in transportation—primarily in aviation, but also in watercraft—left a lasting impression on the industry.

The Alexander Graham Bell commemorative circulation coin depicts the blueprints for the Silver Dart and the HD-4, and the blue background represents Bras d’Or Lake in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Alexander Graham Bell

“We breathed an atmosphere of aviation from morning till night and almost from night to morning…I may say for myself that this Association (AEA) with these young men proved to be one of the happiest times of my life.”

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell, National Geographic Magazine, June 1903

“I have been continuously at work upon experiments relating to kites. Why, I do not know, excepting perhaps because of the intimate connection of the subject with the flying-machine problem.”

Alexander Graham Bell, National Geographic Magazine, June 1903
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Alexander Graham Bell, 1915

“I have no doubt that a machine will be driven from the Earth’s surface at enormous velocities by a new method of propulsion – think of tremendous energies locked up in explosives – what if we could utilize these in projectile flight!”

Alexander Graham Bell, 1915

Alexander Graham Bell, AEA Bulletin, October 1908

“[The idea is to] place hydroplanes under the boat-body to assist it in rising… its body shall be in the form of a boat with outriggers so that it can float upon the water and rise from the water after the manner of a water bird.”

Alexander Graham Bell, AEA Bulletin, October 1908
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