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depends on what you mean by "late in the game."
 
 He (Edison) cooperated with Wangemann's commercial recording  activities 
(on site) as early as 1889-1892, and the titles/artists have  been published 
in ECR (day by day).
 
  Sadly the Walt Whitman recording didn't work out...
 
Allen K.
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In a message dated 2/10/2016 1:22:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

And  Edison really thought his new machine would be confined to secretaries 
as a  dictation aid. He wasn't keen on its phonographic uses until very 
late in the  game, but he stuck with it once he saw the possibilities.