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1877 December 14

Punch's Almanack for 1878: Predictions for the telephone 4

Source: Terra Media Archives

By the Telephone Sound is converted into Electricity, and then by completing the circuit, back into sound again. Jones converts all the pretty Music he hears during the Season into Electricity, bottles it and pops it away in Bins for his Winter Parties. All he has to do, when his guests arrive, is to select, uncork, and then complete the Circuit. And there you are!

At least two of the names that can be made out on the bins—Adelina Patti and Charles Santley—did in fact live on to be immortalised in the gramophone age. When Emile Berliner demonstrated the gramophone to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on 16 May 1888, he specifically mentioned Patti in the context of the vast musical heritage that his invention would allow to be passed on from generation to generation.
        The Gramophone Company recorded Santley in London in 1903, Patti in 1905. It took two years to persuade the diva, who insisted on having the equipment installed in her Welsh castle home so she could record when the mood took her. Her 14 recordings were issued on 8 February 1906 at the high price of 21s (£1.05) per disc, promoted by advertisements in 200 British newspapers.

Source: Roland Gellatt: The Fabulous Phonograph

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© David Fisher