1876 March 7 - A revolutionary new device was patented today - the electric voice telegraph or telephone. Its Scottish-born inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, teaches vocal physiology at Boston University and is an expert on communication with the deaf. He discovered the principle behind his machine last year. The telephone converts sound waves into electrical oscillations, which can then be transmitted long distances via a cable. It is possible it could be used on a commercial scale in which case Alexander Graham Bell's invention could make him a very wealthy man.