Phonozoic Text Archive, Document 003
"Uses of the Phonograph." Public Opinion,
VIII:7 (November 23, 1889), 171,
reprinted from the Philadelphia Ledger.
An application of the phonograph not less suggestive than novel was made at the last meeting of the First District Dental Society of New York. An address delivered before that society by a Philadelphian was privately read on the previous Saturday evening in the presence of a number of distinguished Philadelphia dentists and teachers of dentistry. The criticisms of these gentlemen were made in front of a phonograph here in Philadelphia--in its hearing, so to speak--and a similar instrument reproduced their remarks to the large audience which had assembled to hear the paper in New York. The attempt was fairly successful, the words of four of the speakers being repeated by the phonograph in New York with sufficient distinctness to be heard over the large meeting room, and the characteristics of enunciation and tone of voice being well preserved. It was evident that lack of familiarity with the instrument's use was responsible for the fact that all of the remarks could not be thus perfectly recorded and reported. But this measurable success suggests that discussions in central bodies, which are made up of a union of district or State societies, could be made more truly representative if selections from the phonographed reports of discussions previously held in these local bodies on the same subject could be introduced. The freshness of discussion could thus be preserved, while the central body would have the benefit of the thoughts of many men who might be prevented from participating in the proceedings in person.