[D8751AAJ], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, November 30th, 1887


View document with UniversalViewer   → View document on Archive.org  → Re-use this digital object via a IIIF manifest


[D8751AAJ], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, November 30th, 1887

Editor's Notes

"YOUR 'FIRST PHONOGRAM' TO ME.-- ## It occurs to me to suggest the idea of sending several phonograms, (repetitions of your first phonogram to me,) to prevent casualty, should any accident happen to one, also to prevent indistinctness occassioned by too frequent use of one, in case such frequency has this effect. ## HAMILTON, (or the messenger who is to bring the first Phonograph.) ## I think you do well to send it by special messenger, rather than by freight, and your choice of Hamilton is good. Please be sure to caution him against showing it on the steamer, as anything of that sort done, especially if use were made of your original phonogram to me, before I received it, would tend to diminish the interest with which I shall surround the use of that first phonogram on its arrival here. ## In order that you may understand the importance of this, I may tell you that I am already arranging a list of the most distinguished people I know,--and many of whom I only know by reputation,-- but whom I shall not hesitate to invite to meet you on an occasion which will be the talk of the whole reading and talking world. I shall give an 'at home' for the purpose and shall issue cards, in these terms: ## To meet Prof. Edison, ## Non presentem, sed alloquentem! [Marginalia: not present but in the voice.] ## Or course I want to give the occasion oll the eclat which the hearing of your actual voice by such an assemblage will occasion,-- your voice in Europe, and your body in America!--and I must be provided with plenty of phonograms, as you say, so that such of my guests as know you, or may wish to express to you their acknowledgments of their interest in what they have seen and heard, may do so in the same mysterious manner. ## I shall give the first exhibition at my house, and another in London, probably at the American Club. I shall also no doubt be able to arrange for a special soiree of the 'Royal Society,' which I did in the case of your Telephone. ## Perhaps following your utternaces to me in 'phonogram No. 1, Mrs. Edison would add a few words in order to give it a graceful finish. She might perhaps address her remarks to my wife,--if nothing more than the compliments of the season, they will be very welcome, and very interesting from every point of view. ## SUGGESTIONS FOR THE OPENING WORDS OF YOUR FIRST PHONOGRAM TO ME.-- ## 'Phonogram No. 1 "Shall I call thee a bird, or but a wandering voice," Wordsworth.' Then go on with your address, and what you have to say, addressing me in full, 'Colonel George Edward Gouraud, Little Menlo, Beulah Hill, Surrey, England,--Friend Gouraud," and finish with 'Yours, Edison,' following with your address,--preferably the name of your house, then 'Lewellen Park, Orange, New Jersey, U. S. A." Nothing could be more appropriate than the words, 'But a wandering voice,' and I have registered them in connection with the word 'Phonogram.' ## PLEASE CABLE ME as soon as you are reasnoably sure of the sdate when you will be ready to ship the first Phonograph. ## P.S.--The ovservations in the editorial of 'Invention,' copy of which is today sent you, beginning, 'The [-----] of expectation of the electrical world,' &c., well expresses the interest shown wherever I go. Everybody I meet is asking me about the Phonograph, with the hope that I will be able to confirm the astounding reports which are circulating concerning it. -- Which I happily am." Maginalia on first page: "Besides the replicates of "Phonograph No 1" which you send by Hamilton send one [--] more by mail -- in same & following S[--------] -- In it ask me to use only the Phonograph in my future correspondence with you, & add -- what a happy escape for both of us from the drudgery of the pen."




Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Download CSV | JSON