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ARSCLIST  April 2015

ARSCLIST April 2015

Subject:

Re: Edison Talking Doll Recordings Released

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:27:03 -0400

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I couldn't download these: "unknown protocol".
 
Don Chichester
 
 
In a message dated 4/13/2015 1:32:44 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Thomas  Edison NHP News Release
For Release: Monday April 13, 2015
Contact:  Jerry Fabris, 973-736-0550 x 48
Email: [log in to unmask]

Edison  Talking Doll Recordings Released

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Today the National  Park Service announces the release 
of historic sound recordings made by  Thomas Edison on phonograph 
cylinders during his effort in 1888-1890 to  market a "talking doll."  
The recordings document the voices of young  women hired by Edison to 
recite nursery rhymes for the dolls.  The  sounds are available online in 
MP3-format at:  http://www.nps.gov/edis/learn/photosmultimedia/edison-
talking-doll-recordings-1888-1890.htm.  This online presentation brings 
together every Edison Talking Doll  recording that is currently available 
in digital form, eight recordings in  total, four of which are first-time 
releases. Each is about 20 seconds in  duration.  Also featured are new 
essays by researchers Patrick  Feaster and Bill Klinger.

On Friday, April 17, 2015 at 1:00 p.m., Joan  and Robin Rolfs, authors of 
the book "Phonograph Dolls and Toys", will  lead a 90-minute program 
exploring the history and sounds of Edison's  talking doll.  Two of the 
Rolfs’ own talking doll recordings were  recovered recently at Northeast 
Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in  Andover, Massachusetts.  Robin 
Rolfs will explain the technology of  the talking doll; Joan Rolfs will 
describe the dolls used by Edison; and  National Park Service Museum 
Curator Jerry Fabris will play rare sounds  from doll phonograph 
cylinders.  A special display of talking doll  artifacts will be on 
exhibit.  The program will be held in the  Laboratory Complex at Thomas 
Edison National Historical Park, 211 Main  Street. The entrance fee to 
the park is $7.00, children under 16 are  free.  Seating is limited and 
reservations are required. Reservations  can be made by calling 973-736-
0550, ext. 89.

In August 2014, NEDCC  recovered audio from three talking doll cylinders, 
including one from  Thomas Edison National Historical Park.  NEDCC's 
audio conservation  laboratory is equipped with the "IRENE-3D" system, a 
new scanning  technology for audio recordings on grooved media, developed 
at the  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in collaboration with the 
Library  of Congress.  NEDCC recently completed a pilot project, funded 
by the  Institute of Museum and Library Services, to develop, test, and  
demonstrate a digital reformatting service.  

Historians have  had few opportunities to hear talking doll recordings, 
because surviving  examples are so uncommon.  Prior to 2011, just two 
Edison doll  recordings were widely available online in digital form.  A  
commercial failure for Edison in 1890, the talking doll was the world's  
first recorded sound entertainment device manufactured for sale to the  
public.  Talking doll cylinders are the earliest commercial sound  
recordings.  Edison’s factory manufacturing effort that produced  these 
records was probably the first time people were paid to perform for  
sound recordings, so the young women hired by Edison are arguably the  
world's first professional recording artists.  Talking doll records  
carry the earliest known recordings of women's voices made in the United  
States.

- -

To learn more about NEDCC and the IRENE-3D  technology, visit 
https://www.nedcc.org/.

Patrick Feaster (email:  [log in to unmask], web: www.griffonage.com, 
tel: 812-331-0047) is a  specialist in the history, culture, and 
preservation of sound media.   A co-founder of the First Sounds 
Initiative and three-time Grammy nominee,  he received his doctorate in 
Folklore and Ethnomusicology in 2007 from  Indiana University 
Bloomington, where he now works as Media Preservation  Specialist for the 
Media Digitization and Preservation  Initiative.

Bill Klinger is a consulting engineer who researches the  history and 
technology of sound recording in the cylinder format. He is a  founding 
member of the National Recording Preservation Board of the  Library of 
Congress.

Joan and Robin Rolfs have written several  articles for local and state 
newspapers and co-authored a book titled  'Phonograph Dolls that Talk and 
Sing’ (2001).  They are authors of  the resource books  ‘Phonograph Dolls 
and Toys’ (2004), ‘Nipper  Collectibles’ (2007), ‘Nipper Collectibles 
Vol. II’ (2011), and ‘Nipper  Collectibles Vol. III’ (2015).   Other 
research publications  include: ‘Lewis Lueder, Official Photographer to 
Mr. Thomas A. Edison’,  and ‘Edison Little Folks Furniture 1926-2005’.  
Joan has a BS degree  in Business/Interior Design.  Robin has his BS and 
an MS degree in  Technology Education.  They are owners of Audio Antique 
LLC, a  business that specializes in phonographs, phonograph dolls, the 
RCA &  Victor Nipper dogs, and related antiques from the Victorian period 
to the  1940s.  

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a National Park  Service site 
dedicated to promoting an international understanding and  appreciation 
of the life and extraordinary achievements of Thomas Alva  Edison by 
preserving, protecting, and interpreting the Park’s extensive  historic 
artifact and archive collections at the Edison Laboratory Complex  and 
Glenmont, the Edison family estate.  The Visitor Center is  located at 
211 Main Street in West Orange, New Jersey.  The  Laboratory Complex is 
open Wednesday through Sunday from10:00 am to 4:00  pm.  For more 
information or directions please call 973-736-0550 ext.  11 or visit our 
website at www.nps.gov/edis  .

-NPS-

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