Join Thomas Edison National Historical Park's audio curator to revisit one of Edison's final research projects on the phonograph. Until the mid-1920s, sound recordings were made without electricity, using an acoustical horn to gather sound and focus it onto a recorder. A typical recording horn was three or four feet long, with an open end of about six inches diameter.
Around 1919, attempting to record a full-size symphony orchestra, Edison began experimenting with very large recording horns. At his recording studio on Columbia Street in West Orange, New Jersey, he constructed the largest-ever recording horn: 125 feet in length and about five feet diameter at the large end, it stretched between two buildings.
This 30-minute presentation will feature historic photographs and oral history recordings about the Columbia Street Studio. You will hear actual sound recording experiments made with the 125 foot horn. Following the presentation, visitors are invited to walk three blocks down Main and Babcock Place to view the former location of the experimental studio and horn