The Playlist • Thomas A. Edison Speaking

EDISON_ore-plantHappy Birthday, Mr. Edison
(February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931)

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THOMAS ALVA EDISON: The Liver Complaint Story

Probably West Orange, NJ; early 1900s
Privately made wax cylinder (commercially unissued)
From the Edison National Historic Site Collection, National Park Service

Walter Miller, whom Edison addresses at the beginning of the recording, was largely responsible for Edison’s recording operations until the phonograph division’s closure at the end of 1929.

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THOMAS ALVA EDISON: Let Us Not Forget — A Message to the American People
(Introduction by Edison Vice-President William Maxwell)

West Orange, NJ: January 2, 1919
Edison Blue Amberol 3756 (original version*; dubbed from disc mx. 6540-B)

The corresponding Diamond Disc release (which originally was sold in a specially decorated box) was # 50509. *Released June 1919; a 1926 remake of this cylinder, using the same catalog number, adds a band excerpt dubbed from the reverse side of the disc.

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THOMAS ALVA EDISON: Birthday Message from Fort Myers, Florida

Edison experimental mx. 185-A
February 11, 1929 (West Orange studio low-speed dubbing from broadcast)
From the Edison National Historic Site Collection, National Park Service

An except from the first “Edison Hour” broadcast aired, over WJZ on February 11, 1929, and captured at Edison’s Columbia Street studio in Orange, New Jersey. The broadcast celebrated the birthday of Thomas Edison, who spoke briefly via relay from his home in Fort Myers, Florida. Click to hear additional excerpts from the broadcast

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