navigation bar Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Neighborhoods
Primary Sources logo Primary Sources

Mabel Hubbard Bell Writes to Her Husband, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell—Letter

Mabel Hubbard Bell wrote many letters to her husband when he was away from their home in Washington, D.C. He invented the telephone 28 years before this letter was written.


Primary Source


Twin Oaks,
Washington, D. C.
Monday, Nov. 14, 1904.

Dear Alec:

We are in a big snow-storm, how is it with you? The snow came down in flakes like cat's paws and as large. It deepened to about 3 or 4 inches, bowed boughs and broke wires, shut us in darkness at Twin Oaks and cut the city off from the world….Nothing like it since the blizzard of 1888 says the [newspaper]. It's cold too, with high Northwest wind.

What about your kites?…I want to hear about you and about kites.

Lovingly ever yours,
Mabel.

Excerpt from a letter from Mrs. Alexander Graham Bell to Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, from the Alexander Graham Bell Papers at the Library of Congress, American Memory Web site.


Background

It is unusual for it to snow heavily in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Bell wanted to tell her husband all about this November snowstorm. The storm was so powerful it broke the outside wires that made the electric lights and telephones work. A very windy and heavy snowstorm is called a blizzard. One of the most famous blizzards happened in 1888. People called that storm the “Great White Hurricane.”

Mrs. Bell also asked her husband about his kites. Dr. Bell was using kites for flying experiments. During this time many people were trying to figure out how to make airplanes.