Article ID: CBB001201826

Canned Literature: The Book after Edison (2013)


The history of recorded sound begins in verse. Thomas Edison announced his plans to mechanically reproduce the human voice in a letter to Scientific American published on November 17, 1877.1 Three weeks later, Edison's associates assembled a simple device on which Edison recorded Mary Had a Little Lamb. Whatever disagreements exist among historians as to the exact events of that day, there is no disputing that the words of this nursery rhyme were among the first spoken by the phonograph.2 Their fame makes it all the more surprising that histories of the phonograph have had so little to say about the prominence of the spoken word at its initial demonstrations in America and Europe.3 [intro]

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Authors & Contributors
de Quadros, Andre
Bunbury, Richard
Israel, Paul B.
Peters, John Durham
Peters, J.
Bijsterveld, Karin
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation
Technology and Culture
Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology
Amsterdam University Press
University of Michigan Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Oxford University Press
Duke University Press
Sound reproduction
Technology and culture
Engineering, audio
Technology and music
Technology and literature
Edison, Thomas Alva
Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Steele, Joshua
Farnsworth, Charles Hubert
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
Early modern
18th century
United States
Great Britain
Weimar Republic (1919-1933)
Menlo Park Laboratory

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