Alexander Graham Bell

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Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), Scottish-born inventor and scientist, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, lived for many years in Washington, D.C., and died in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. As a young man, he consulted physicist Joseph Henry, the first Smithsonian Secretary, about the feasibility of his telephone invention and was greatly encouraged by Henry. He considered Henry as an important mentor and supported the Smithsonian in many ways. Bell served as a citizen member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, provided seed money for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, donated collections to the National Museum, and arranged for the move of James Smithson's remains from Genoa, Italy, to the Smithsonian Institution in 1904.


  • Bell, Alexander Graham 1847-1922
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • United States National Museum


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


SIA2012-1090 is a copy print from the original negative MAH-9823C. The photograph carries the inscription "From a photograph taken in 1876, the year in which the telephone was patented."

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, (photographic print) Record Unit 95, Box 3, Folder: 32 Alexander Graham Bell
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-006

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Smithson, James
  • Inventors
  • Telephone
  • Donors
  • Funding
  • Secretaries
  • Death and burial
  • Physicists
  • Philanthropists
  • Scientists
  • Nova Scotia
  • Smithson, James--Death and burial


  • Nova Scotia
  • Genoa (Italy)
  • Scotland
  • Washington (D.C.)


  • Photographic print
  • Portraits

ID Number

SIA2012-1090 and MAH-9823C and 9823-C

Physical description

Number of Images: 1 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: Xw x Xh; Type of Image: Portrait ; Medium: Negative

Full Record

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