Travel writer, Jim Fox, who blogs at One Tank Trips, enjoyed some time at the Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford. Thanks for letting us share your travels, Jim!


JIM FOX – What would Alexander Graham Bell think today about how his tinkering led to creating the device that revolutionized communications?

His ingenuity in inventing the telephone in 1874 changed the way people have interacted since then.
“He’d likely be horrified to see people today texting each other in the same room,” said Brian Wood, curator of the Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford.
In fact, Bell (1847 to 1922) refused to have a phone in his study or work rooms so the call bells wouldn’t interrupt him.

A visit to the homestead where Bell first publicly demonstrated the telephone is a trip back in time.
Remember the heavy black dial phones, clunky basic phones of the 1950s and the Princess phone?
They’re all on display and visitors can gather in the room where a dinner party was held as a long-distance phone call was received over a telegraph line. Other inspirations of this inventor, innovator, inspirer and humanitarian can be viewed in Baddeck, N.S. at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

There is much debate over where Bell actually invented the phone, with Boston often claiming that honour.
Bell did some of his research while working as a professor of vocal physiology at Boston University and was the first to obtain a patent.
His breakthrough work came when the teacher of the deaf returned to Melville House, his parent’s home in Brantford, and made the first real long-distance call on Aug. 10, 1876 to Paris, 16 kilometres away.
Bell later declared: “Brantford is rightfully named the Telephone City.”
While sitting outside in his “dreaming place,” Bell grasped the principle of developing a “speaking telegraph” in 1874.
On a visit two years later, he staged public demonstrations that proved the telephone was a practical form of communication.

This mid-Victorian farm that the Bell family emigrated to from Scotland in 1870 opened in 1910 to the public as a memorial of the invention of the phone.
Today, costumed guides provide tours of the two-storey home in which about 90 percent of the main-floor furnishings are original Bell family pieces.
For our tour, Sarah Hamilton, education coordinator, pointed out original watercolour paintings by Bell’s mother, Eliza, and a marble and slate inlaid table they brought to Canada.

She shows replicas of the three earliest telephones and switchboards from the Henderson Home, Canada’s first telephone business office, relocated to the homestead site.
There’s a stuffed duck-billed platypus brought from Australia by her brother and her original hearing trumpet.
A trompe l’oeil portrait that appears to have cracked glass was a favourite of Melville Bell, the inventor’s father, that he used as a practical joke.

At the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, models, replicas, photo displays, artifacts and films provide a glimpse into the mind of the creative genius and his amazing legacy.

Bell established his family’s vacation home in 1886, far from the formality and summer heat of Washington D.C. where they lived. Both he and wife Mabel Hubbard Bell played an active role in the social and intellectual life there. He continued his experimentation leading to scientific experiments in sound transmission, medicine, aeronautics, marine engineering and space-frame construction.

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June 14 - September 13

Sunset Social Paddles

Burlington Beach Rentals

1084 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON, L7S1A2

2019 Dates; Friday, June 14th; Friday, July 19; Friday; August 16; Saturday, September 14. 2-...

November 16 - January 5

The McQuesten Family Christmas

Whitehern Historic House & Garden – National Historic Site

41 Jackson Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 1L3

Time:        12:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Tuesday to Sunday) Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day &...

Now thru November 19

2-Day Bruce Trail Waterfall Hiking Tour

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

July 13

Because Beer VIP Tour

Original Hamilton Beer Tours

5 Hamilton St. N; Hamilton, Ontario, L0R 2H0

Saturday, July 13; 11:45 am to 3:00 pm; round trip from Pier 4 Park, Hamilton

Now thru November 19

Weekend in Paris Adventure

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

December 7 - 22

Christmas Evening Tours

Dundurn National Historic Site

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

Time:        7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Cost:        $30 per person. Pre-registration is required, weekends only.

October 26

Harvest Home Breakfast

Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museums

64 Sulphur Springs Road, Ancaster, ON, L9G 1L8

Cost:        Adults: $16.00, Children: $8.00 (12 and under). Pre-registration required. Limited seating available. Time:        9:00...

November 23

An Evening with Jane Austen

Battlefield House Museum & Park – National Historic Site

77 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8G 5E5

Call or email to book Time: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Ages: Adults Cost: $25.00 (including HST)

June 14 - 15

Ancaster Heritage Days

Hamilton Civic Museums

64 Sulpur Springs Rd. Ancaster, L9G 1L8

June 14-June 15, 2019 from 12 - 4 pm, Price Adults: $4, Seniors/Student: $3.50, Children:...

June 7 - August 23

Girlfriend Friday One day Retreats

Burlington Beach Rentals

1084 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON, L7S1A2

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Must register in advance. Limited spots per date. Ladies only...

Now thru September 15

Turbo Tubing… The Paddling Adventure For Everyone.

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

Not recommended for newborns to 2 years. *Save 4.00 off per person when you bring...

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