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ERIC Number: ED462347
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Alexander Graham Bell's Patent for the Telephone and Thomas Edison's Patent for the Electric Lamp. The Constitution Community: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900).
Schur, Joan Brodsky
In 1876 Americans held a Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) to celebrate the nation's birth 100 years earlier. Machinery Hall drew the most admiration and wonder. Alexander Graham Bell exhibited the first telephone, and Thomas Alva Edison presented the automatic telegraph, one of more than 1,000 inventions he would patent in his lifetime. When the U.S. government granted Edison and Bell their patents, it put them at a distinct advantage over their competitors. They alone were given the right to profit from their inventions for a specified time period. This lesson discusses the power of Congress to pass laws related to the granting of patents (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8). The lesson correlates to the National History Standards and to the National Standards for Civics and Government. It furnishes as primary source documents Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patent drawing and oath and Thomas Edison's electric lamp patent drawing and claim. The lesson gives the historical background of the beginnings of industrialization in the United States, as well as biographical sketches of Bell and Edison and lists five resources. It provides eight diverse teaching activities for implementation in the classroom, including document analysis, analyzing effects, a timeline of U.S. inventions, a simulation of creating a corporation, and research and compare exercises. (BT)
National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20408. Tel: 866-325-7208; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution