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Re: [ARSCLIST] Earliest recorded sound update on NPR

In a message dated 6/4/2009 10:48:39 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
pfeaster@xxxxxxxxx writes:

Edison  did try to tell the "keyboard telephone" version of the story in an 
interview  of April 1878 (quoted on p. 28), so he wasn't treating this as a 
deep, dark  secret.  But the various lines of thought that converged in 
July 1877  were complicated and might have been hard for Edison himself to 
recount  clearly.  In the long run, he settled on a couple good anecdotes that  
were also part of the story, and that he probably found more gratifying to  
Thanks, Patrick. Was this excerpt below listed as Sourcenote 73 in  your 
article (p. 28)?
"Not only did each letter make "a different mark or scratch," but so,  
unfortunately, did repetitions of the same letter, as he acknowledged during an  
interview in the spring of 1878:
"How long ago did you get the  idea of the phonograph ?"
"Only last July. It is a mechanical  invention, begotten out of an attempt 
to emboss an alphabet for  telegraphy [i.e., the keyboard telephone 
project]. I found that repeating the  letter A' many times produced an ever varying 
puncture, all of unlike depth or  size under the microscope. Then it was 
plain that the voice was its own recorder  and measurer. The phonographic 
alphabet was impossible, but articulation was  easy.'73"
Was this meant perhaps as Sourcenote 74? The ultimate reference seems  to 
be for the April 1878 story.
   Edison's reply above - "only last July [1877]" - seems to  support the 
July 18 date for when all the preceding activities came to fruition.  I would 
guess that this is when he (or Batchelor) comes up with the sliding  
'Halloo' phonograph (which has not survived, but is pictured in SA, Aug 24,  1878. 
Whatever was said, and hopefully repeated, had to be very short.
 If the "idea of the phonograph" is taken to mean the "phonograph  
principle", aren't we still stuck with the traditional date (July 18)? As you  point 
out, the ground was well laid (with the abortive attempts involving  
letters), but the Eureka moment (where it all coalesced) was well  expressed, in 
real time, by TAE himself (7/18). i.e. "Just tried experiment with  a 
diaphragm having an embossing point & held against parafin paper  moving 
rapidly..."  This is no doubt a reference to the 'Halloo' device,  don't you agree?


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