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  • Alexander Graham Bell sends his Mother a birthday gift of a hearing aid.(Interesting and unusual post today).
    11 Jul , 2017






















    Alexander Graham Bell sends his Mother a birthday gift of a hearing aid.(Interesting and unusual post today).


    In our world of electronic and digital communications, one wonders what evidence of our day-to-day lives will exist for our descendants in the next century. Modern technology has given us the ability to be in almost constant touch with one another. But, will our emails and texts still exist a hundred years from now? For decades, letter writing was often an everyday occurrence for most people. Keeping in touch meant sitting down with pen and paper. Receiving a letter was often an exciting event, especially from someone miles away. And, for many, including Alexander Graham Bell and his family, these letters were something to be kept, not simply discarded once read. The Bells were profuse writers and as a result, their story can be told today through thousands of letters.


    Born in Scotland in 1847, Alexander Graham Bell lived a unique life. Influenced by his father, Melville, a professor of elocution, and his deaf mother, Eliza; the loss of his brothers, Melville and Edward, to Consumption; and marriage to his deaf pupil, Mabel Hubbard, Bell left a legacy to the world that few could imagine living without. How this came to pass is best revealed through the letters between these individuals. Here, we present those letters to you.


    These two short letters from “Aleck” to his parents found him searching for rooms in Boston. He would in fact choose the rooms he noted to his mother on West Newton Street. Sending warm wishes for his mother’s birthday, Aleck also mentioned sending her a new hearing trumpet as a gift, hoping it provided the best sound.
    Enjoy reading his actual letters below:

    2 Bulfinch Place, Boston
    September 18th, 1872


    Dear Papa


    I am sorry I did not receive your letter yesterday until after bank hours as I was out looking at rooms all day.


    I enclose $100. Would it not be better to send you another bill for the same amount? I may as well leave my money with you as at the bank.


    I am just off to West Newton St. to see if I can arrange about rooms. By the bye – I find you probably will not receive the tube till after this letter reaches you. Should you have to pay duty – the value of the tube is $7.00.


    Love to all


    Your affectionate Son




    P.S. Mrs. Sanders has arranged to send her son to me. I have not heard from General Mitchell yet.




    Prof. A. Melville Bell
    Brantford, Ont.



    2 Bulfinch Place, Boston
    September 19th, 1872


    Dear Mamma


    Although I am so far away I shall be near you tomorrow. You may imagine me in my accustomed place at the dinner table wishing you as I shall do – Many happy and happier returns of the day.


    I sent you yesterday – per express prepaid – a “graduating tube” of the strongest description as a birthday present.


    I hope you will receive it safely and be able to hear (through it) your birthday congratulations.


    Tomorrow will be an eventful day for me as I must decide now upon rooms. I find that apartments are very dear – but I have almost decided on rooms at No. 36 West Newton Street – near the St. James Hotel. I can have board in the same building at $6 per week. I find that a niece of Mr. Philbrick’s boards at the same place.


    I shall write full particulars on my regular writing day – Sunday.


    With much love


    Your affectionate Son




    Mrs. A.M. Bell
    Brantford, Ont.


    Source: The Bell Letters are annotated by Brian Wood, curator, Bell Homestead National Historic Site.Brantford Expositor 2017 ©

    Image credit: Bell Homestead National Historic Site