[D8955ADJ1], Letter from J A Beecher to Thomas Alva Edison, November 1st, 1889


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[D8955ADJ1], Letter from J A Beecher to Thomas Alva Edison, November 1st, 1889

Editor's Notes

[Law Offices of J. A. Beecher, 800 Broad St., Newark N.J.] My Dear Sir: I wish to communicate to you by the Graphophone, a few points which have come to my observation, in the use of this machine, and also of the Phonograph which I think, may be of some personal use to you, and may result in your making the Phonograph particularly a more useful machine, to members of the Legal Profession and to business men generally in their offices. One objection to the Phonograph is, that the adjustments are so intricate, that they require too much skill in the operator, and I am glad to learn from Mr. Smith whom represents your company here, and who has furnished me with one of those machines, that you have a similar apparatus to hat which is used on this machine, "The Graphophone" by which the record is made without requiring any skill on the part of the operator. I think the Graphophone in respect to the mode of making the record upon the cylinder, is as nearly perfect as it can be. But the delicate adjustments necessary in the Phonograph, to enable one to get a good reproduction of what is said to it, make it a less desirable instrument than could be wished, on account of that. Another objection which is of considerable importance, I may say of great importance to lawyers, is that the wax cylinder of the Phonograph is too short. By the time you are fairly at work you must quit and put on another and pare it down and make the various adjustments which I have spoken of,--and that may properly be ojectyed to-- before you can go on with your brief or whatever other matter yo wish to have recorded upon the cylinder. Now by the time a m an has diverted his attention for the purpose of making these various delicate adjustments, he will have forgotten the most valuable part of his brief even though he is familiar with the machine, and requires but little distraction. Now this is so serious a matter that I think you should at once consider the feasibility of making a long cylinder. Besides, the piper or funnel is much too large, and much too long,--more so than is necessary. The funnel should be as light as possible, and not over three or four inches in length, for the practical use of the operator, or Type-writer in transcribin from the cylinder.







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