2 posts tagged with ThomasEdison by filthy light thief.
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Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell in at their Volta Laboratory in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison worked from his Menlo Park facilities, and Emile Berliner worked in his independent laboratory in his home. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders, respectively. [more inside]
On June 23, 1911, The Miami Metropolis published predictions about the year 2011 from Thomas Edison, including his visions of transmuting metals, a world of light-weight steel products, and writings printed on leaves of nickel that would be "so light to hold that the reader can enjoy a small library in a single volume." In Edison's future of today, five authors and an editor/publisher envision the world of publishing in the year 2021. Spoiler: nickel is not mentioned once. [more inside]