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"This Is America, Charlie Brown" The Great Inventors (TV Episode 1989) Poster

Quotes

Linus Van Pelt: [voiceover] Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland in 1847, just one year before the discovery of gold in California. He came to Boston, Massachusetts in April of 1871. He was a teacher who taught deaf children how to speak. He used a method called "visible speech" invented by his father. Within a few weeks, Mr. Bell was able to teach the children more than 400 English syllables. It was Mr. Bell's work with the deaf that led him to the study of telegraphy, invented by Samuel Morse. By 1876, as the United States was celebrating its 100th birthday, the Scottish immigrant was about to give America a fantastic birthday present.

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Thomas Edison: [voiceover] When you come across anything you don't thoroughly understand, don't rest until you've run it down. When I am asked the key to my success, I have a short answer: it's hard work based on hard thinking. Each day dawns with fascinating possibilities. The world is so *full* of a number of things.

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Charlie Brown: [voiceover; last lines] Americans felt there was no stopping them now, but the American dream would soon be tested by war, by depression, and by the need for social reform. Freedom in America had created the climate for the great inventors to create their magic. And now, this same freedom would be tested in the twentieth century by the winds of change.

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Thomas Watson: [to Linus, before Mr. Bell tries out his famous microphone and receiver experiment] You stand close to me, son, and we'll listen together. Just imagine: Mr. Bell has been working on this for over ten years.

Marian Edison: [in extreme bewilderment] *Ten years*? *Wow*!

Thomas Watson: [fading to a whisper] He's closed the door. Let's listen.

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Linus Van Pelt: [voiceover] At first, many people called the telephone a "silly toy", but twenty-five years later, by the turn of the century in 1900, there were more than a million-and-a-half telephones in the United States. On that March day in 1876, the man who first communicated by telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, was just 29 years old. And his assistant, Mr. Watson, was 22. For the next 45 years of his life, although Mr. Bell created other inventions, too, he dedicated much of his time to working with the deaf.

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Linus Van Pelt: Mr. Bell once said to a group of children...

Alexander Graham Bell: Do not keep forever on the public road; go to only where others have gone. Leave the beaten path occasionally, and dive into the woods. It'll be certain to find something you've never seen before. Of course, it will be a little thing, but do not ignore it, follow it up. Explore all around it. One discovery will lead to another, and before you know it, you've left something worth thinking about to occupy your mind. All really big discoveries are the result of thought.

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Thomas Edison: [gesturing to Marion and Peppermint Patty] Gentlemen, we have two special guests tonight.

[gesturing to Peppermint Patty again]

Thomas Edison: This young lady seems to agree with me that the phonograph can work. In fact, it was Marion's doll that helped me along the way to this talking machine.

[pointing to the two diaphragms on the phonograph]

Thomas Edison: Marion and Miss Patty, these are two diaphragms. They are the key to this talking machine. John Crusa here drew up the sketch for me. He doesn't think it'll work, but maybe we'll get lucky and at least hear one word.

John Crusa: Yeah, but what will you say into it, Mr. Edison?

Thomas Edison: Hm, let me think. Ah, yes, I have it. Are we ready?

[cranking the phonograph and speaking into one of the diaphragms]

Thomas Edison: Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

[he releases the first diaphragm and turns the phonograph back the other way, cranking again with his playback; when it's over, the men cheer, and Marion and Peppermint Patty dance with joy]

Sally Brown: Wow! He did it!

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Alexander Graham Bell: [about to pour the acid for the transmitter] I have to put the acid here...

[he accidently knocks the acid over, burning his hand]

Alexander Graham Bell: Oh, no! Mr. Watson, come here! I want you!

Thomas Watson: [hearing him through the receiver, then jumping for joy] That's it... that's it, that's *it*!

[Bell returns to the room where Watson and Linus are listening]

Thomas Watson: That's it! I heard every word! You said, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you"!

Alexander Graham Bell: [chuckles] At last! At long last! Congratulations, Thomas!

Thomas Watson: [shaking hands with Bell] Congratulations, Mr. Bell!

Marian Edison: Wow! Wait'll I tell Charlie Brown!

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Marian Edison: [giving his report on inventions while pictures are projected onto a screen] For ten years after the Civil War, from 1865-1875, a series of inventions began to transform the American way of life. The invention of the refrigerated railroad car meant that fruits and vegetables and and fish and beef could be carried across the country. During this ten year period, new inventions included everything from cable cars, to the vacuum, to the typewriter, to the billiard ball, but the greatest inventions were yet to come. Starting in 1876, the 100th birthday of the United States, three spectacular inventions would change the United States and the world forever: the telephone, the electric light, and the horseless carriage.

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