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Taking a quick look at the coincidences in Bell's important dates, by the numbers.

Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).

Bell's father, grandfather and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech and both his mother and wife were deaf; profoundly influencing Bell's life's work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone, on March 7, 1876. Bell considered his invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.

Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. Although Bell was not one of the 33 founders of the National Geographic Society, he had a strong influence on the magazine while serving as the second president from Jan. 7, 1898, until 1903.

Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and died 100 years ago on Aug. 2, 1922, in Nova Scotia, Canada. March 3, 2022, marks his 175th birthday and I prepared the following numerical curiosities in his honor:

• Bell's birthdate, March 3, can be expressed as 3/03, or simply 303. Coincidentally, every year has 303 days left after Bell's birthday.

• Furthermore, the sum of the prime factors of 303, namely 3 and 101, equals 104 and twice the reverse of 104, namely 401, equals 802. Coincidentally, Bell died in 1922, on August 2 (8/02).

• Moreover, 3 and 101 are the second and the 26th prime numbers, 2 plus 26 equals 28, and the reverse of 28, namely 82, interpreted as 8/2 represents Aug. 2, again, the day Bell died in 1922.

• Bell's birthdate, March 3, can also be expressed as 3/3 or simply 33. The prime factors of 33, namely 3 and 11, add up to 14 and twice 14 yields 28. Again, the reverse of 28, namely 82, represents 8/2, the day Bell died.

• Also, the sum of the prime factors of 1922, namely 2 and 31, yields 33, Bell's birthdate, 3/3.

• Additionally, if 8/2/1922, the day Bell died, is split as 82, 19, and 22, twice the sum of 19 and 22 equals 82.

• Bell died on 8/2/1922, 152 days after his 75th birthday, which occurred on March 3, 1847. Interestingly, there are 152 days from Aug. 2 until the end of each year.

• The digits of Bell's birthdate, 3/3/1847, add up to 26 and the reverse of 26 is 62. Coincidentally, March 3 is the 62nd day of 1847. Additionally, the sum of the prime factors of 62, namely 2 and 31, yields 33, Bell's birthdate (3/3).

• Bell's full name, Alexander Graham Bell, contains 19 letters and 19 square is 361. Coincidentally, if numbers 1 through 26 are assigned to letters A through Z, the sum of the letter numbers of Alexander Graham Bell equals 163 and interestingly, 163 is the reverse of 361.

• Lastly, 11 years later, in 2033, Bell's birthday expressed as 3/3/33 will be a ubiquitous palindrome date, that is, a palindrome date that occurs on the same day of the calendar no matter what date format is being used.

Happy 175th birthday to Alexander Graham Bell!

Aziz Inan is a professor of electrical engineering teaching in the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering at University of Portland and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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