LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST Archives

ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST@LISTSERV.LOC.GOV


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST  June 2009

ARSCLIST June 2009

Subject:

Re: Earliest recorded sound update on NPR

From:

Patrick Feaster <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 4 Jun 2009 10:44:39 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (82 lines)

I've posted a pdf of that "Speech Acoustics and the Keyboard Telephone"
article from 2007 in the "Publications and Research" section of
phonozoic.net for anyone who'd like to take a look at the whole thing, but
to summarize the argument I made:

- On May 26, 1877, Edison jotted down ideas for two inventions: (1) a
spectrographic speech recorder based on the principle of the harmonic
telegraph and (2) a "keyboard talking telegraph" that would synthesize
speech sounds over a phone line using combinations of simple electrical
breakwheels.

- On July 11, 1877, his notes show that he'd concluded combinations of
simple breakwheels wouldn't do, and that he now envisioned a separate wheel
for each speech sound, containing variously spaced teeth of different
heights.

- On July 17-18, 1877, he apparently tried to figure out what patterns of
teeth he'd need to create individual speech sounds by recording the actual
vibrations of a telephone diaphragm, studying the records, and playing them
back to verify what they represented.  The results were inconclusive as far
as visually recognizable patterns went, but he'd just discovered the
principle of the phonograph.

- Edison made technical mistakes and missteps throughout this period that he
shouldn't have made if he'd known about the phonautograph -- so he probably
didn't know about it during 1877, or at least didn't understand it.

On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 4:16 PM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> TAE certainly had many opportunities, then and later, to
> correct the "record" and preserve for posterity the 'true' story. But he
> never
> did this (apparently). Is there thus some "secret" (or  unknown) version?


Well, this isn't exactly the Da Vinci Code -- 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 tell.

>
>  I do not know what year Edison first went to Washington DC, where
> Scott's Phonoautograph (Koenig model) was on Display.... As
> far as I recall, Edison never mentions, in real time, his view of it
>  (visual
> or in abstract thought), before 1877. I think he did see it  during his
> Wash
> trip in April of 1878, where he must have been surprised at how  close
> others (Scott & Koenig) had come to his "baby".


You're right -- reporters quoted Edison's remarks upon seeing the
phonautograph during his April 1878 visit to DC, to the effect that he
was astonished anyone could have known about it and not also conceived of a
"playback" phonograph.   Those remarks wouldn't have made much sense if he'd
already known about the phonautograph himself in 1877.

>
>  Patrick says: "We do not possess any document in which Edison  explains
> the circumstances under which he thought his keyboard telephone might  be
> used, or what its practical benefits might be."  And yet also: "Edison's
> notebook entries of 26 May 1877 show that he was then already eager to
> build
> both a speech recorder and a speech generator," So I am confused. Is there
> a
> reason why this May 26th document was not quoted (in the article),
>  regarding
> such a 'recorder'? And what was the actual imagined method of  "recording"?


Spectrographic, oddly enough -- I summarize the proposed method on pages 18
and 19, and the full text is given in the print edition of the Edison
Papers, 3:361.  What we don't have is any statement of the circumstances
under which Edison expected people to use either the keyboard telephone or
the automatic (spectrographic) speech printer.  We know the "what" and the
"how," but we can only make educated guesses about the "why."

 - Patrick

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.LOC.GOV

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager