1922 – Alexander Graham Bell dies

Alexander Graham Bell, best known as the inventor of the telephone, was 75 when he died, and still refused to have a telephone in his laboratory. He regarded his most famous – and most transformative – invention as a nuisance and a distraction from his serious work. The telephone itself had arisen out of Bell’s true interests in acoustics, which grew out of his work as a teacher for the deaf: he had wanted to invent a device that would make it possible for the deaf to hear, the fact that he may well have stolen the idea from Elisha Gray notwithstanding.

The telephone is merely his best known invention – Bell held the patent for that, but also for 17 other inventions (some of them held in common with other, but most in his own right). Bell’s death was the result of complications arising from his diabetes. He left behind a legacy that has, over the course of less than 150 years and with many followers building on his work, transformed the world beyond recognition. One wonders what he’d think of the iPhone.

Referenced in:

Done Too Soon — Neil Diamond

1922 — Carter and Carnavon find King Tut’s tomb

If not the greatest archeaological find of the Twentieth Century, certainly the best known. King Tut – well, Tutankhamum really – was a little known and fairly unimportant Pharaoh historically, but his tomb is one of the best preserved ever found, and has been extremely influential in how we view Pharaonic Egypt.

Howard Carter and his sponsor, George Herbert, Lord Carnavon, had spent lots of money and nearly a decade searching for the tomb of the boy king, and Carnavon had started to lose hope. 1922 was to be the last year he funded Carter – it turned out to be the last year he needed to. It took a decade to finish cataloging the tomb and removing the artifacts from it. Since their discovery, various collections of Tutankhamun artifacts have been almost constantly on tour around the world.

Referenced in:

King Tut — Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons