[D8958AAQ], Letter from Julius H Block to Charles Batchelor, October 28th, 1889


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[D8958AAQ], Letter from Julius H Block to Charles Batchelor, October 28th, 1889

Editor's Notes

[SELECTABLE] You will be interested to hear of "the grand success" of my first private demonstration to Tchaikovsky and his friends at the academy of music of the Russian Imperial Society of Music. "Tschiakoffski, as well as his friends, were all amazed & did not find words to express their astonishment at the great wonder. The phonograph worked wonderfully well with the branch tube, constructed as per your advice & with a Grenet cell." [discusses battery solution ingredients]. Cell worked successfully for over 2 hours, giving ample time to produce phonograms; I apply to you for help. The glass of the diaphragm broke; reproducing ball pierced the cylinder, which also broke. "It was due to the diaphragm holder falling back on the cylinder. Please send me at least 2 complete diaphragms, 2 glasses for the reproducer & instructions on how to fix the reproducing point to the glass.###Have made several attempts to record speech & music. Talking comes out better than music but doesn't have the true pitch & clearness it should have, so that the voice, though heard well, cannot be recognized.###"Even this would not be so great a drawback, if the entire cylinder would work alike, but now comes a most curious fact: Out of 10-15 experiments made, there was not a single one, where the cylinder recorded the talking at a uniform speed from beginning to end, though the governor worked properly and the battery was in good shape"###[Long report on difficulties with phonograph follows]; Very important for me to remedy the problems without delay; Tschaikowski has promised to persuade Rubenstein to let me make a few phonograms of his farewell concert. "This will be his last appearance & you may imagine how the whole world will be grateful to the great Edison for giving the world the possibility of hearing Rubenstein long after his last performance." "I learn, if newspaper reports are correct, that Mr. Edison has already solved the problem he spoke to me about, of manifolding the phonograms. If that is the case, you will do a great deed by helping me to get all square for that great event & I now already express my entire willingness to place the exploitation of the future manifolding into the hands of Mr. Edison & leave it up to him to direct me how to act in this case & how to manage it." Have arranged album to collect the autographs of famous men, beginning with the Czar. Tschaikowski & professors have already written their impressions. Album to be given to TAE.###Need quick response to technical problems, but "will not spare any amounts necessary to bring my scheme to a successful end, but this is a matter of impossibility without your assistance."###Aim is to demonstrate the phonograph to all Russia. Hopes to install "all the glory, that is due the great Edison," as Tschaikowski said.







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