In a message dated 11/3/2009 12:45:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
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Folsom bases his theory on a message that Edison wanted a recording of
Whitman who also lived in New Jersey.
In the original APM article we also ran copies of the Feb 1889
correspondence between Sylvester Baxter and the NA Phono Co (A. O. Tate). But it was
only an epistolary suggestion as nothing came of it.
Whitman's last years were covered in a Diary kept by Horace Traubel, and
there is no mention of such a (recording) event. The local newspapers kept
track of Walt's doings (he was rather housebound toward the end of his life),
and are curiously silent about WW intoning his voice for posterity. In Aug
of 1889, WW did go out (in Philly), by carriage, to have his picture taken
and that was noted. But when Haley was writing to Yale about the possible
purchase of his "recordings", it was claimed that the WW "cylinder" was a
poem about Lincoln!
If wishes were horses.... and other reasons why poetry critics should not
do phonographic research. Why was Haley unwilling to show anyone (ever) his
actual wax records - he had so many, such as Stowe, Cleveland, Whitman,
etc. How does one prove a negative?