Edison's Talking Machine

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Edison's Talking Machine  (1888) 
The New York Times, Page 1, August 15, 1888

EDISON'S TALKING MACHINE

IT EXCITES THE GREATEST WONDER IN ENGLAND

A RECEPTION AT WHICH MR. EDISON MAKES A SPEECH BY PHONOGRAPH - WILLIAM H. CRANE'S PLANS

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BY COMMERCIAL CABLE FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.

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Copyright, 1888, by the New-York Times

 London. Aug. 14. - Thomas A. Edison was given a very handsome reception this afternoon by Col. Gourand at his beautiful villa, Little Menlo, at Upper Norwood, in Surrey. A large number of ladies and gentlemen gathered there to meet the distinguished inventor of America. The reception included a dinner, lasting from 3 to 8 o'clock. Under the inspiring influence of popular appreciation Mr. Edison made a speech, in which he dwelt first upon his first visit to England, 18 years ago, and then devoted himself to a humorous criticism of English politics and climate. He then proceeded to amaze the company by reciting "Bingen on the Rhine," and winding up with a most extraordinary whistling spasm. Then he sang a funeral march, and without waiting for an encore gave "Mary had a little lamb." he told funny stories, and, in fact, conducted quite a variety of entertainment all by himself. Mr. Edison was not entirely present but he was not entirely absent, and the perplexity of the company over the human voice and its absent owner, 3,000 miles away, was very great.

 Mrs. Alice Shaw, who has quite conquered London, whistled for the perfected phonograph, and it whistled back quite as brilliantly as she did. A large number of guests were presented to Mr. Edison via the phonograph, each making a short speech to him suitable to the occasion. When the company was breaking up three rousing cheers were given for Edison, with a tiger and long clapping of hands. The effect, when the cheers and applause were repeated a moment later, was funny in the extreme. All the introductions, whistling solos, British cheers, &c., dryly recorded on the wax cylinders, will be taken to America by Mr. W.H. Crane of "The Henrietta." When they arrive Mr. Edison will find that he has a lot of acquaintances who know him very well by voice but not by sight. The reception was an exceedingly novel one, and the new machines, with their perfect articulation, excited wonder, reaching in many cases to amazement.

 Mr. Crane leaves to-morrow on the City of Chester, accompanied by Mrs. Crane and Walter Williams. He has been traveling for two months on the Continent, going as far east as Vienna. His stay in London has been devoted to collecting all the data obtainable concerning Falstaff, including old prompt books of famous actors, stage directions, and the like, as a preliminary to starring in the legitimate drama. He has also been to Stratford-apon-Avon, has dropped a tear over Shakespeare's tomb, and drank a pot of sack in the old Shakespeare's Hotel, and consequently he now regards his success as a modern exponent of Falstaff as completely assured.

This work was published before January 1, 1923 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 125 years or less since publication.