"So Amazingly Perfect They Are Really Weird": Bringing Sound Back to the
Edison Kinetophone. 1913
Saturday, November 19, 2:30 p.m.
Illustrated lecture by George Willeman, The Library of Congress
Approximately 60 min.
Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
On February 17, 1913, after many years of R+D, Thomas Alva Edison
introduced the Edison Kinetophone to an enthusiastic New York audience.
The Kinetophone was a fairly complex mechanical means of creating
talking pictures. Unlike previous systems, in which actors would be
required to lip sync to preexisting recordings on camera, the
Kinetophone was one of the earliest film technologies to record sound at
the same time as the image. More than 200 of these Kinetophones were
produced between 1913 and 1914, but only a handful of the films and
their accompanying sound cylinders survive. The Library of Congress, in
cooperation with the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, has
reconstructed eight of these Kinetophones, some of which have not been
seen—or heard—since their debut 103 years ago. Library of Congress
preservationist George Willeman presents six of them, including Nursery
Favorites; The Deaf Mute, Part 1; and The Musical Blacksmiths, in an