At one time I may have been aware of Bell’s connection to Cape Breton (probably when I was last there in 1973), but I had forgotten it. After the telephone had been commercialized, Bell spent summers on Bras d’Or, a large lake (not just a
tasty beer!). There is a museum dedicated to his life and work and surprisingly little of it has to do with the telephone! The things that caught my eye were his interest in flight–both airplanes and kites–and in hydrofoil boats. He developed the tetrahedral kite and even designed an airplane based on it…but it was not a success. He also was responsible for the first manned flight in Canada with the Silver Dart.
The hydrofoil he developed for the navy was successful, but came at the end of the war and was never developed. It’s main advantages were significantly less drag (so higher speeds for less power) and smoother ride as the weight rode in the water, not on top of it.