In 1885, nine years after his invention of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, Mabel, paid a weekend visit to Baddeck on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. There they fell in love with the landscape, and soon returned to build the house and laboratory where Bell would spend his summers for the next thirty-seven years. At Baddeck, Bell experimented in many fields, including the development of a successful hydrofoil. Less successful but equally spectacular were his efforts to construct an aircraft with tetrahedral cells in the wings, allowing it to become airborne under its own power. Energetic, exuberant, occasionally eccentric, Bell was remembered with affection by friends and neighbours in Baddeck.
Dorothy Harley Eber learned of Bell's life from these same neighbours during summer visits to her cottage across the bay from his old home. In the course of many conversations, she recorded their reminiscences not only of Bell but of a busy household that often included children and grandchildren, Bell's father and stepmother, and famous visitors - among them Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan Macy, and Sir Wilfred Grenfell. With these interviews and excerpts from family journals, diaries, and letters, Dorothy Eber has woven an engaging, informal account of Bell's life and work on his Cape Breton headland. Equally fascinating are the illustrations, for Bell always had photographers at hand to document his work, and members of the family also became talented camera amateurs. With the text, they shed new light on the career and character of this great inventor.