Mr. Edison Speaking Through the Perfected Phonograph in America
The improved apparatus devised by Professor Edison, of Orange, New Jersey in the United States, to perfect his wonderful acoustic machine, by which spoken words or music, inscribing their precise tones, syllables, and accents, on cylindrical rollers of wax, can be afterwards repeated at any distance of place or time, continues to excite public curiosity. We gave last week an illustration of the hearing of the first letter from America, a letter dictated to the machine by Mr. Edison, in his laboratory, at three o’clock in the morning, on June 16, which was repeated, without the loss of a word, on July 25 (sic), by a corresponding machine, at the house of his agent in England, Colonel Gouraud, Little Menlo, Beulah Spa, Upper Norwood; the waxen record or “phonogram” having been sent to England by mail steam-ship. The illustration given in the present number, from a photograph, is that of Mr. Edison speaking this message to the machine; and, in order to render the parts of the instrument more clear, the following explanation will be interesting. To the left is the electric motive power, in this case a bichromate bottle battery. To the right of this is the motor box; above it is the regulator. Under Edison’s recording or speaking tube is the wax cylinder, placed over an iron core. The projecting rod in front of the cylinder is an index to the contents of the phonogram. In front of the box are three wax cylinders or phonograms. In front of these is a branched tube, the “earphone”, for more certainly excluding outside noises; this is to be fitted over the receiving tube – that on the frame to the left of the recording tube. By a swift and exact arrangement, either of these tubes can be shifted, when required, to its place over the wax cylinder.
We are informed that extensive preparations have been made, in America, for the manufacture of these machines; the works at present under construction having a capacity of making two hundred machines a day. There will be a variety of forms of phonographs adapted to different purposes, and of various prices. The form to be first made available to the public will be similar to the one sent to Colonel Gouraud by Mr. Edison, and is expected to be sold for about 20 Pounds. It will be found both useful and amusing.
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