America and Beardstown in 1876

    In 1876 this country of ours was 100 years old. They had a fair, similar to a world’s fair, in Philadelphia at the Fairmount Park.  There was a building called the machinery building which was the most popular as the exhibitors had the newest inventions. On the main platform was the Coreless steam engine. It was about 15 feet high and was receiving the most attention. President U. S. Grant was there to pull the lever to demonstrate to people what this machine could do. Another guest at that time was Alexander Graham Bell, who hadn’t planned until the last minute to take his instrument to the fair.  He gave the first public demonstration of his instrument on a sweltering afternoon in June that included Emperor Pedro of Brazil and Lord Kelvin of the United Kingdom. Bell picked up his instrument and spoke into it. Standing 20 feet away, Emperor Pedro put the instrument to his ear and fondly remarked, “My God, it talks.’’ Lord Kelvin then took the receiver and said, “It is the most wonderful thing I have seen in America.”

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