Radio: Ghost Voices

Gouraud, agent of my choice, Bid my balance sheets rejoice; Send me Mr. Gladstone's voice.

Some ten years after the late Thomas Alva Edison first recorded the human voice* on tinfoil in 1877, he sent the foregoing jingly "phonogram," on a wax cylinder, to Colonel George E. Gouraud in London.

Gouraud got Gladstone's voice, in a wordy tribute to Edison, and the voices of a host of others in London around that period—Florence Nightingale, Sir Henry Irving, Phineas Taylor Barnum. Edison's staffs elsewhere recorded hundreds of others. But within a few years the...

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