Canada is known for its inventions in the fields of communications and transportation. Bell is one reason for this reputation. He was born in Scotland and came to Canada in 1870, settling at Brantford ON. He worked with his father as a speech therapist, teaching deaf people to talk.
Working with the electric telegraph, which had already been invented, he invented a microphone. This led him to the invention of the telephone in 1874-1876. While working in the USA in 1876, he patented his invention of the telephone, and founded Bell Telephone Company. He introduced the telephone to Japan during a trip there in 1877.
When he retired in 1890, he was a rich man. He bought land in Baddeck NS, on Cape Breton Island, and built a house which he named Beinn Bhreagh ("beautiful mountain" in Gaelic). There, working with his wife and other researchers, Bell researched all manner of inventions, including the photoelectric cell, the iron lung, the phonograph, and ways of extracting salt from sea water.
He also pioneered research on aviation. The flight of the Silver Dart at Baddeck in February 1909 was the first manned flight of a heavier-than-air machine in Canada, coming six years after the Wright brothers flew an airplane in the USA for the first time. The Silver Dart flew more than 200 times before crashing beyond repair during military trials.
Bell's legacy lives in the Internet powerhouse company, Nortel Networks. This evolved out of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada, which Bell founded in 1880. Nortel Networks now has offices and manufacturing plants around the world.