• Heavy Machine Shop

    Thomas Edison

    National Historical Park New Jersey

Very Early Recorded Sound

Handel Festival: "Israel In Egypt" - excerpt
On note with cylinder: "A chorus of 4000 voices recorded with phonograph over 100 yards away"
Composed by: G.F. Handel
Conducted by: August Manns
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder Recorded by: Col. George Gouraud, foreign sales agent for Thomas Edison
Location: the Crystal Palace, London, England
Recording date: June 29, 1888.
ENHS object catalog number: E-2440-20

The Lost Chord
Performed by: cornet and piano (performers unknown)
Composed by: Arthur Sullivan
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder Recording date: c. August 1888
Recorded by: Col. George Gouraud
Location: London, England
ENHS object catalog number: E-2440-3

After Dinner Toast at Little Menlo
Spoken by: Arthur Sullivan, composer
Introduction by: Col. George Gouraud
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recording date: October 5, 1888
Location: Little Menlo, London, England
ENHS object catalog number: E-2439-7
** Transcript of Arthur Sullivan's message to Edison upon introduction to the phonograph:
" . . . For myself, I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at the results of this evening's experiment -- astonished at the wonderful power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music may be put on record forever. But all the same, I think it is the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced, and I congratulate you with all my heart on this wonderful discovery."

Around the World on the Phonograph
Spoken by: Thomas A. Edison
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recording date: c. late October 1888
Location: West Orange, New Jersey or local vicinity
NPS object catalog number: EDIS 566
** Historical note: This is believed to be the earliest existing recording of Thomas Edison's voice.

The Pattison Waltz
Performed by: Effie Stewart - vocal ; Theo Wangemann - piano
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
Location: The Edison Laboratory, West Orange, New Jersey
Recording date: February 25, 1889.
NPS object catalog number: EDIS 565

The Fifth Regiment March
Performed by: Issler's Orchestra
Record format: Edison yellow paraffine cylinder
Recorded by: Walter H. Miller
Location: West Orange, New Jersey or local vicinity
Recording date: c. March 1889.
NPS object catalog number: EDIS 564

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Did You Know?

A set of storage batteries used as display models for the Edison Company.

Did you know that Thomas Edison worked on electric car batteries in the early 1900s? He thought it would be the car of the future. His wife's favorite car to drive was a Detroit Electric. Today, Thomas Edison National Historical Park has three electric cars dating from 1908 to 1914.