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 Post subject: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (After 1
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:40 pm 
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Victor IV
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The Thomas Edison National Historical Park just came out with an emailed newsletter that is not yet online. This update was the one I was most interested in seeing:

Quote:
Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (After 140 Years)

Curators recently installed a new replica mouthpiece onto Thomas Edison’s first phonograph. Historian David Giovannoni of Derwood, Maryland, led the effort to recreate the mouthpiece. Giovannoni collaborated with machinist Anton Stoelwinder to design replica parts, made of gutta-percha and brass. Stoelwinder custom-built the parts at his workshop in Gorredijk, Netherlands. (Above and center, the original phonograph on display in the Phonograph Gallery on the third floor of Building 5.)

Edison first conceived of the phonograph at his Menlo Park, New Jersey, Laboratory during July of 1877, and experimented with designs during the fall and winter. Machinist John Kruesi built the phonograph in early December 1877. Its original mouthpiece is long lost, but there is no doubt that one once existed on the machine. The mouthpiece attached to the recording element of the phonograph. To make a recording, Edison spoke directly into it. It helped ergonomically to channel sound pressure onto the recording diaphragm.

The best evidence of the mouthpiece design is a period engraving (bottom, left) of the phonograph published in Scientific American magazine on December 22, 1877. Similar mouthpieces appear in Edison’s 1877-1878 drawings of experimental phonographs, including United States patent 200,521.


I wrote about this mouthpiece in the December 2017 issue of The Antique Phonograph. It's great to see the original Kruesi prototype completed and displayed as it looked in December 1877.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:53 pm 
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Victor IV
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Very nice. Thanks for posting this. It's good to know that "ground zero" for the practical recording and playback of sound is restored. What a simple beginning, eh?


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:02 pm 
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Victor V
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That is interesting. I've long held the notion that Edison's first phonograph was lost. Don't remember where I got that from, but it was obviously wrong. :) That sucker would probably fetch a few bucks on e-bay.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:05 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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As familiar as we all are with the Scientific American engraving, it's still kind of jarring to see a photograph of the first talking machine with the mouthpiece in place!

All those books...Gelatt, Read & Welch, Chew, Frow, even Fabrizio & Paul (!), all need new images! :o

Thanks for posting this, Rene.

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:06 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Wolfe wrote:
That is interesting. I've long held the notion that Edison's first phonograph was lost. Don't remember where I got that from, but it was obviously wrong. :) That sucker would probably fetch a few bucks on e-bay.


The disc tinfoil apparatus of 1878 is presumed lost; maybe that's what you were thinking.

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:10 pm 
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Victor V
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phonogfp wrote:
Wolfe wrote:
That is interesting. I've long held the notion that Edison's first phonograph was lost. Don't remember where I got that from, but it was obviously wrong. :) That sucker would probably fetch a few bucks on e-bay.


The disc tinfoil apparatus of 1878 is presumed lost; maybe that's what you were thinking.

George P.


No, the original "Mary had a little lamb" tinfoil cylinder machine, is what I thought. The absence of photos I guess underscored that.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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There are lots of photos of the First Phonograph - including the books I mentioned. But they all lack the mouthpiece.

Rene Rondeau's 1999 book, Tinfoil Phonographs, is the most in-depth examination of the First Phonograph as it exists in West Orange. But like the other books, there's no mouthpiece! :)

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Victor V
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Without steering the thread too far off topic, I'm afraid I don't see an actual photograph of this machine in Gelatt's book. There is a picture of Edison posing beside a tinfoil machine that looks like a later, more developed model, with a flywheel and a longer mandrel. He was to demonstrate the machine to President Hayes.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:01 pm 
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There's no photograph of the original tinfoil phonograph in the Third Edition of The Fabulous Phonograph, but there's a half-page photo in the section between pages 64 and 65 in the First Edition. I don't have a copy of the Second Edition to check.

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison’s First Phonograph Restored to Original Form (Aft
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Victor V
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phonogfp wrote:
There's no photograph of the original tinfoil phonograph in the Third Edition of The Fabulous Phonograph, but there's a half-page photo in the section between pages 64 and 65 in the First Edition. I don't have a copy of the Second Edition to check.

George P.


The 2nd edition is what I have. No photograph in it, just the sketch as is shown upthread.


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