It’s easy to think of visionary Alexander Graham Bell as a white-bearded sage. Think of him instead as the Bill Gates to Thomas Edison’s Steve Jobs, early inventor-entrepreneurs whose fervent rivalry sparked modern-day telecommunications.

In the race to create the telephone, Edison had money and muscle with thousands of patents and hundreds of employees. Bell had far fewer resources, but the underdog was ultimately successful because he understood the mystical anatomy of the human ear and had the strong support of his devoted, determined wife, Mabel Hubbard, the deaf teenager he tutored. In the end, both men’s legacies live on: Edison founded what is now General Electric; and Bell, AT&T.

By pitching these two brilliant young inventors against one another in a high-stakes, personal drama spiced with love and treachery, Wire Men reveals early tech wars as we’ve never seen them, against the backdrop of America’s race to become the industrial and technological leader of the world.

Writer Stephen Greenhorn
Executive Producers Peter Raymont, Alan Clements   

In Development with STV Television and BBC Scotland 
Based in part on Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell, by Charlotte Grey