Edison: His Life and Inventions - Vol. 1

By Frank Lewis Dyer; Thomas Commerford Martin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THE PHONOGRAPH

AT the opening of the Electrical Show in New York City in October, 1908, to celebrate the jubilee of the Atlantic Cable and the first quartercentury of lighting with the Edison service on Manhattan Island, the exercises were all conducted by means of the Edison phonograph. This included the dedicatory speech of Governor Hughes, of New York; the modest remarks of Mr. Edison, as president; the congratulations of the presidents of several national electric bodies, and a number of vocal and instrumental selections of operatic nature. All this was heard clearly by a very large audience, and was repeated on other evenings. The same speeches were used again phonographically at the Electrical Show in Chicago in 1909--and now the records are preserved for reproduction a hundred or a thousand years hence. This tour de force, never attempted before, was merely an exemplification of the value of the phonograph not only in establishing at first hand the facts of history, but in preserving the human voice. What would we not give to listen to the very accents and tones of the Sermon on the Mount, the orations of Demosthenes, the first Pitt's appeal for American liberty, the Farewell of Washington, or the

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