Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was an eminent Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator. He is credited with inventing the first practical telephone (the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876). But the telephone wasn’t his only input in innovative development of the whole humanity. Bell had a lot of remarkable works in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. He is also credited with the invention of the metal detector in 1881.
He came from the family (father, grandfather, and brother) which was fully involved into work on elocution and speech. Bell’s mother began to lose her hearing when he was twelve. His wife, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard (the daughter of Boston lawyer Gardiner Greene Hubbard, who was the first president of the Bell Telephone Company organized on July 9, 1877), was also deaf. It was caused by disease close to her fifth birthday. All that predetermined Bell’s main (but not the only one) sphere of scientific interest.
Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society (one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world) in 1888. He also supported aerospace engineering research through the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA), formed in October 1907.
Innovation Playing Cards: The King of Hearts – Alexander Bell
Alexander Graham Bell is also featured on the Ace of Hearts. Jody dedicated the ace to June 2nd, 1875. One accident happened that day. It led to the “gallows” sound-powered telephone, which could transmit indistinct, voice-like sounds, but not clear speech.
Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, had a lot of experiments with the electrical multi-reed apparatus that Bell hoped would transmit the human voice by telegraph. That summer day Watson accidentally plucked one of the reeds and Bell, at the receiving end of the wire, heard the overtones of the reed necessary for transmitting speech. That demonstrated to Bell that only one reed or armature was necessary, not multiple reeds.
Innovation Playing Cards: The Ace of Hearts – Bell Hears Thomas Watson
An American inventor and businessman, Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931), is featured on the Ace of Clubs. He is the most famous for the invention of the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In reality, he held 1,093 different US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
Also Edison’s major innovation was the first industrial research lab, which was built in Menlo Park, Middlesex County, New Jersey (later named Edison in his honor). It was built with the funds from the sale of Edison’s quadruplex telegraph. It became the first institution set up with the specific purpose of producing constant technological innovation and improvement.
Innovation Playing Cards: The King of Clubs – Thomas Alva Edison
The Ace of Clubs is devoted to the light bulb. Dozen inventors created their own variants of light bulbs. People still dispute about who was the first one. Thus, it is a nice symbol of craving for innovation and inventions. It’s no wonder that it is one of the modern visual symbols of a new idea.
Innovation Playing Cards: The Ace of Clubs – The Light Bulb
The King of Diamonds is devoted to Wilbur Wright (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), an American inventor and aviation pioneer. He and his younger brother, Orville Wright (The Jack of Diamonds), are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane. Also they made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight (December 17, 1903).
The Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible. But they weren’t the first to build and fly experimental aircraft. So, their status as inventors of the airplane has been subject to counter-claims by various parties.
Innovation Playing Cards: The King of Diamonds – Wilbur Wright