[D8959AFH], Letter from Charles Launcelot Garland to George Edward Gouraud, September 9th, 1889


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[D8959AFH], Letter from Charles Launcelot Garland to George Edward Gouraud, September 9th, 1889

Editor's Notes

[enclsure to D8959AFG; 4 closely-written pages summarized here] Regarding some proposed arrangement for Australia. Didn't give you a definite answer because trusted friends say there's no way to make money on the terms proposed. I could get my Australia friends to take it up but don't want to put their money for such an uncertain enterprise. "There are only between three and four millions of people in the Australasian Colonies and they are so scattered and expensive to get at so that the field is very limited." Also competition from Graphophone, "which is an instrument simple in construction and very effective for commercial purposes. It would not cost more than one-fourth the cost of the phonograph" and firm will probably be started on terms that will run a Phonograph Co. bankrupt. Regarding Paris and France, where you have phonograph rights, I venture to say the "prospects of business are being ruined there by the perfunctory and unsatisfactory way in which the phonograph is being handled [in Paris exhibition]…..The graphophone is being shown to greatest possible advantage. A few simple words are spoken into it by the operator and the single tube is given to only one hearer at a time. The reproduction is perfect and the effect splendid. When the same visitor goes to the phonograph he takes one of six or eight tubes which are distributed amongst others and admist the hum and buz of heavy machinery he hears a series of intermittent and squaky sounds which he is told is music but which it is impossible to recognise as such. I speak from actual experience. He goes away with the impression that the phonograph is a fraud. I watched the effect for several hours and say it is not fair to the instrument or yourself or Edison…"




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