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ARSCLIST  April 2015

ARSCLIST April 2015

Subject:

Re: Edison Talking Doll Recordings Released

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[log in to unmask]

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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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