Phonozoic Text Archive, Document 019

"Testing the Phonograph," New York Times, May 13, 1888, p. 5.

There were strange sounds and sights in the unique headquarters of the Electric Club, in East Twenty-second-street, last night [May 12, 1888].  Thomas A. Edison was there with a dozen of his perfected phonographs, and the compact little machines entertained a distinguished company of invited guests with oratorical eloquence and harmonious music.   Gen. W. T. Sherman related war reminiscences, which were faithfully recorded and reproduced; Col. Robert G. Ingersoll said to a phonograph in the parlor: "You are the most ingenious thing that was ever worked out of the human brain," and the compliment came back with the clearness of a bell echo; Marshall P. Wilder told a funny story and went into convulsions when he heard himself mimicked with startling accuracy; George Parsons Lathrop dictated a story to the little mechanical wizard in a room up stairs and then watched it transmit the narrative to the ears of a printer, who deftly put it in type; the Rev. Robert Collyer and Col. Elliott F. Shepard quoted Scripture to another phonograph, and a typewriter who heard the words for the first time second hand made manifold copies for general distribution among the members of the club.  These experiments were made after Profs. E. T. Gilliland and Robert Spice had told about the invention and development of the phonograph.