Monday, March 03, 2008

Alexander Graham Bell - Historic Phoney?

It's Alexander Graham Bell's birthday today. The young woman in video above is not wishing him a happy birthday. It is in American Sign Language (ASL) without sound. It's by eight year old Brianna who also has a vlog. In fact there are a number of Youtube videos like the one above, all by women, none of whom are very fond of Mr. Bell.

While surfing around to see what's going on in the world and on the internets today, I discovered it was Bell's birthday. So I decided to do some googling to find out more about him for a short post. What I found was interesting. First that it is likely that Bell was not the inventor of the telephone as they told us as unsuspecting youth in school. Other inventors not only may have preceded Bell in developing the first phone, but Bell may have stolen a key component from one of his competitors. That fact is documented in this book about Bell by Seth Shulman; The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret.

But that's not the reason that this young girl, and I can only tell from the text because I don't know ASL, is speaking unflatteringly about Alexander Graham Bell. Apparently Bell was also a proponent of Eugenics. Also that policies favoring eugenics in this country advocated and were responsible for the sterilization of deaf women. Bell believed that deafness could be prevented by keeping two deaf parents from having children. Of course I didn't do exhaustive research and this is all stuff I found out in googling and wikipedia-ing around the internets this morning. But it is interesting and worth researching further.

1 comment:

Millie said...

Shazam. Will read the rest of the eugenic entry...