Yesterday the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” Thomas Edison, demonstrated his latest invention: the “Kinetophone,” the product of years of experimentation to produce “a machine synchronizing the motion picture and the phonograph” to create talking motion pictures. His demonstration was ably summarized by the New York Times. Read the whole thing.
One of the tests of the invention included a recording of a speech by an actor speculating on the possible uses of this marvelous new invention:
To what vast purpose it can attain can only be guessed. Consider, for instance, the historic value of a Kinetophone production of George Washington if it were possible to show it now, and you will realize the splendid opportunity of future generations to study the great men of to-day. The political orator can appeal to thousands while remaining at his own fireside; the world’s greatest statesmen, actors, singers can be seen and heard in even the smallest hamlet, not only to-day, but 100 years hence. In fact, there seems to be no end to the possibilities of this greatest invention of the wizard of sound and sight, Thomas A. Edison.
Will it truly be possible for our descendents, 100 years hence, to see and hear this actor’s speech just as freshly as Mr. Edison’s audience did yesterday? Even in the smallest hamlet? Possibly even in the privacy of one’s own home? Time will tell.