Always Inventing: A Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell

Always Inventing: A Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell

by Tom L. Matthews
     
 

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Period photographs as well as pages from Bell's original notebooks help paint a vivid portrait of the man who -- from his first invention at age 11 (a tool to clean husks from wheat kernels) to his patent on hydrofoil improvements 64 years later -- was always inventing.

Overview

Period photographs as well as pages from Bell's original notebooks help paint a vivid portrait of the man who -- from his first invention at age 11 (a tool to clean husks from wheat kernels) to his patent on hydrofoil improvements 64 years later -- was always inventing.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Although Alexander Graham Bell is most known for the invention of the telephone, few people realize that he devoted his life to invention. At the age of 11 he devised a machine to separate the husk from a kernel of corn. He went on to perfect a finger spelling language for the deaf, experimented in multiple telegraphs, was involved in early flight, and made inprovements to the early hydrofoil models. Teacher, thinker, questioner, doer, Bell's passion for his work fills the pages of this fascinating biography. The casual, friendly tone of the writing and the black and white photos of Bell at work and play describe a warm, intelligent, gentle man who always found time for children and their questions. The introduction by his great grandson sets the tone for the lively and loving portrait to follow.
Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Informative engravings, journal sketches, and family photographs illustrate this handsomely designed book about one of the 20th-century's most creative geniuses. (Mar.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-A photobiography of Bell's life and work, giving proper emphasis to all of his inventions. Bell was much more than the inventor of the telephone; his lifelong devotion to the education and welfare of hearing-impaired people is thoroughly explored as is his dedication to the advancement of science. This book contains many full-page black-and-white photographs, reproductions, and illustrations that help bring the avid tinkerer to life. A chronology of the inventor's life and lists of books and Web sites for further information conclude the volume. This book provides more depth on Bell's life and work than Leonard Everett Fisher's Alexander Graham Bell (Atheneum, 1999). Both titles have merit for pleasure reading, but Matthews's is the one to use for research.-Carol Fazioli, The Brearley School, New York City, NY
Horn Book Magazine
Here are two quite different biographies of the inventor that together provide a fuller than usual picture of the man, his life, and his work. Fisher's warm, storylike text with full- and double-page illustrations (in rather dark tones) provides a good introduction to the subject, while Matthews's longer book features many vintage photographs and drawings that richly picture the details of life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Matthews's personable text, Bell's inexhaustible curiosity emerges as his wide range of experiments are outlined; his concern for people and making their lives better is also made clear. Fisher's book is more of a straightforward biography, with the illustrations giving the text an intimacy and a sense of personal investment on the part of the author-illustrator. Both books capture Bell's apparently indefatigable energy and interest in the world around him. Always Inventing contains a chronology, bibliography, and index.
Kirkus Reviews
A memorable tribute to a notably versatile inventor: From his first invention at age 11 to his last, 64 years later, Bell "recorded everything, sketched every idea, documented every experiment." Clearly, Matthews does not lack for source material, but rather than weigh readers down with a long recitation of accomplishments, he covers some high spots (the telephone, Bell's work with the deaf, experiments in flight, and his role in the National Geographic Society) on the way to creating a character study, a portrait of a man who both earned and knew how to enjoy success, and who never lost his sense of wonder. The fluent text is matched to an expertly chosen array of photographs, encompassing not only family scenes and closeups of small, complex devices, but such seldom-seen treasures as Mark Twain's telephone bill, and a choked mass of wires suspended over New York City's Broadway. So upbeat is the tone that the tragedies and challenges in Bell's life seem downplayed, but readers will come away with a good sense of who the man was and what he did. (chronology, bibliography, index) (Biography. 9-12) .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792259329
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
09/12/2006
Series:
Photobiographies Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
7.88(w) x 9.49(h) x 0.17(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Tom L. Matthews is the author of the National Geographic book Light Shining Through the Mist: A Photobiography of Dian Fossey. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College, New York.

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