ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL'S CONNECTION BETWEEN DEAF EDUCATION AND HIS INVENTION OF THE TELEPHONE BEGAN AT THE CLARKE SCHOOL FOR DEAF MENTIONED IN THIS HAND-SIGNED LETTER
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL (1847-1922) TYPED LETTER SIGNED, "Alexander Graham Bell", 1 pg., 8 x 10.5, April 4, 1907, on his Washington, D. C. letterhead, to Miss Caroline A. Yale, Clarke School, Northampton, Mass., in part: "...I want very much to meet your Normal Class, and to stay at least a couple of days in Northampton. I had intended to have gone up to Baddeck after the 17th of April via Northampton, but my arrangements have suddenly changed, and I expect to sail for England on April 19...and expect to be back by about the 10th of May. Then I shall call at Northampton on my way to Baddeck." Clarke School for the Deaf, founded in 1867, benefited from the support and innovation of the inventor Alexander Graham Bell. He taught at Clarke for the first time in 1871, and would be associated with the school for 51 more years -- as a teacher of teachers, a researcher, and a scholar. Bell even served as Clarke's Board President from 1917-1922. Baddeck, mentioned twice in the letter, is in reference to his summer home in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. In 1864 Bell's father invented visible speech, a symbol-base system to help deaf people learn to speak. Like his father before him, Bell spent his life studying the physiology of speech. After emigrating from England to Canada in 1870 and to the United States a year later, Bell began to teach speech using a universal alphabet. His telephone evolved from his invention, a phonautograph, a device that draws vibrations from the human voice, to help deaf students to visualize sound. This is an interesting letter with an historic association between his life's passion of helping the deaf, and the source of his most enduring fame, the invention of the telephone. Comes with and 8 x 10, b/w, close up portrait. It is in fine condition, with mounting traces on the reverse of the four corners that can be easily matted out.