During our trip to Cape Breton we couldn’t help but notice a road sign near Baddeck which pointed towards Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, a museum of the famous telephone inventor. We took notice and on our way back we stopped in Baddeck, a beautiful little town overlooking Brad d’Or Lake.
As you’ll see in the pictures it’s no wonder Graham Bell chose Baddeck as a second residence, after Washington D.C. The Museum lies in the centre of 10 hectares land near Bras d’Or Lake and it’s a gorgeous building with a modern architectural design.
As you enter the Alexander Graham Bell museum you’re welcome with a huge poster indicating the main sections you can visit: Home (Beinn Bhreagh estate is where Bell lived in Baddeck), Sound and Silence (are dedicated to Bell’s work trying to help the deaf), Ideas (various projects the inventor was working on), Air (he’s credited with the birth of Canadian aviation), Water (his quest to build the fastest boat in the world), Discover (activities you can do with your family) and Mr. Bell (the projection room where you can watch special documentaries).
The Amazing Worlds of Graham Bell poster enlightened me that the telephone was just one of the inventions coming from this brilliant mind, albeit it’s probably the most important one. Bell was interested in pretty much everything, as in the Ideas section there are exposed some interesting prototypes and sketches for devices such as anemometers, air conditioner blowers, water distillers, underwater radios, water bicycles, genetic engineering experiments with sheep breeding, graphophones and structures using Bell’s favourite geometrical figure, the tetrahedron (you might say that was his obsession).
Official site of the Museum: here’s all the info you need before you visit
Special sections display various boats and flying objects Bell researched, built and experimented with. Alexander Bell was not a career inventor like Thomas Edison, but a very curious amateur, with an interest in gaining knowledge and helping others (not my words). And speaking about helping others, he was greatly involved into helping deaf people. The interest was probably fuelled by the fact both his wife and mother were deaf.
I have to say that when I walked inside Alexander Graham Bell’s museum I was expecting a bunch of telephones and a history of how the invention come to life. I had no idea Bell was much more than that. If you ever get the chance to plan a vacation to Cape Breton you have to add the Cabot Trail and Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site to your list.