Phonozoic Text Archive, Document 124

A Voice from Egyptian Hall

Punch, Volume 11 (July-December 1846), p. 64.

From the index to this volume of Punch:

A Voice From Egyptian Hall. -- A MR. FABER exhibited a speaking machine, which was played upon like a piano-forte, and sounded several words.  It took the inventor five years to produce the sound of the letter "E."

OWING to the violent hailstorm last Saturday having broken several of the windows at Egyptian Hall, great fears were entertained that MR. FABER's speaking-machine might have caught cold, and have lost its voice.  But we are happy to state that the Automaton runs up the scale as nimbly as ever, and that his "G" excites the admiration of the whole room every time he succeeds in going down to it.  To guard against accidents, however, we should recommend MR. FABER to have a duplicate machine always in attendance, on the plan of the Brussels Company, in which every actor has a "double" ready at a moment's notice to perform his part, in the event of his being indisposed to sing.

As this "double" is generally a rising singer, the indisposition of a prima-donna rarely lasts longer than a day, in fact a favourite tenor has been known to recover his voice the moment his name was taken out of the bills, though he was so hoarse the minute before that he could not sing a note.  It must be mentioned, however, to the great credit of the Automaton, that, though he is encored about twelve times a day in "God save the Queen," and is indisputably the most popular singer of the day, not a single apology has been made for him yet.  We hope we are divulging no secret in stating that he takes a couple of STOLBERG's voice lozenges regularly every night.