[D8847AAA], Letter from Jarvis Borsted Edson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 3rd, 1888


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[D8847AAA], Letter from Jarvis Borsted Edson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 3rd, 1888

Editor's Notes

"Wishing you the compliments of the season for old acquaintance sake etc. I have just noticed a reference to an apparatus which may interst you, and which may have escaped your notice. It is referred to in the Oct. '87. number of the "Blotter Fur Taubstummenbildung". It is Forchhaummer's Phonoscope. The description shows it solves the problem of the optical representation of the pitch of the voice in the simplest and clearest manner, and that it seems to realize the invention imagined by a Miss Moffet, and written about some time previously thereto." As follows-- ### "When some good genius shall give us a substance sensative that the human voice projected against it shall produce a permanently visible impression, differing with the different tones made, then will the loboys of articulation teaching be somewhat lightened, and alphobetics taught in the same manner as penmanship by making correct copy, and bidding the child take it and strive until he makes one like it." ### The invention has a deaf brother, and is consequently directly interested in the deal;--but Mr. Walther, in whose institution for the deaf experiments have been made with this Phonoscope, says that the hope is not likely to be realized. The instrument is of service in correcting the unnatural pitch of the voice in which some pupils speak, but it does not introduce a new era in articulation teaching. ### I thought this account and criticism might be of sufficient interest to you in connection with your Phonographic experiments. I have read the discription in the "Public Prints," of your new Phonographs, and shall hope soon to have a talk with one. I well remember what you considered some 10 years ago could be done with the Phonograph, and have supposed you were only resting on the matter, to make its final appearance more perfect." Very truly yours, Jarvis B. Edson.




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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