By Doug Boilesen 2015
Captured sound that could be played back on a Phonograph was a wonder that changed the human perception of ephemeral sound.
With the advent of moving pictures the predictions of combining sound and film soon started. Prior to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition there was much publicity that Edison would be exhibiting such a device at its opening.
The Phonogram, October, 1892, p. 217
There is no evidence, however, that an Edison Kinetograph reproducing "motion and sound simultaneously" was ever exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
When Edison did release his Kinetoscope in 1895 its moving pictures were viewed as a peep-show inside its cabinet. Edison would also build a kinetoscope which had a phonograph inside the cabinet which he named the Phono-Kinetograph (a.k.a. Kinetophone) but there was no attempt to synchronize the phonograph's sound with the film.
The venues of phonograph concerts and magic lantern presentations were popular in the 1890's and in the late 1890's projected moving pictures were being shown which could also be accompanied by phonograph records or other music.
The Phonogram, August 1902
This gallery provides examples of magic lantern shows with period phonograph recordings added to create what could have been seen and heard by audiences in the early twentieth century.
The earliest moving picture with 'sound' is also in this gallery (the Edison Kinetophonographic movie that combined sound and film made by W.K.L. Dickson in late 1894/1895) along with several early examples of early moving pictures which have been colorized and period phonograph recordings added.
Examples of Other Phonographia Multi-Media (e.g., books, postcards, sheet music) are also accompanied by period phonograph recordings.
Additionally two PBS Mini-Documentaries related to the phonograph can be watched.
Magic Lantern Shows Accompanied by Period Phonograph Recordings
In the early 1890's the Phonograph and the magic lantern provided multi-media entertainment to paying audiences.
Enjoy the following magic lantern stories and sounds of cylinder records as examples of another era's world of entertainment.
Adventures of a Cyclist - A Magic Lantern Presentation accompanied by The Edison Concert Band playing Ye Ancients March, Edison Gold Moulded Record No. 8946 (1905).
Adventures of Mr. Snapshot - A Magic Lantern Presentation accompanied by The Edison Military Band performing American Students’ Waltzes, Edison Record No. 8740 (1904)
America - A Magic Lantern Presentation with artwork by Joseph Boggs Beale and accompanied by The Indestructible Military Band performing The Star Spangled Banner and America, Indestructible Record No. 3943 (1908)
Annie's Treat - A Magic Lantern Presentation accompanied by an 1896 Regina music box playing The Nightingale Song.
Are Mr. and Mrs. Snapshot at Home? - A Magic Lantern Presentation accompanied by brown wax cylinder recording of Nanon Waltz, circa 1891-1893.
Break the News to Mother - A Magic Lantern Presentation accompanied by J.W. Myers singing Break the News to Mother, Columbia Records.
A Christmas Carol - A Magic Lantern Presentation using Newton & Co. Slides (1884) of Charles Dicken's story accompanied by “The Carol Singers” performing "God rest you, merry gentlemen" on Edison Blue Amberol Record No. 3346 (1917)
The Cyclists' Elopement - A Magic Lantern Presentation illustrated by Bamforth & Co., (1897) accompanied by Peaceful Henry played by The Edison Concert Band, Edison Gold Moulded Record No. 8562 (1903)
Peaceful Henry - Edison Record No. 8562 Release Notes:The Edison Phonograph Monthly 1903; Sheet Music, Dealer Programme
Killarney - Edison Record No. 9081 Release Notes:The Edison Phonograph Monthly; Humourous Incident; Miss Marie Narelle; Killarney painting by French artist Alphonse Dousseau, 1830.
Nursery Rhymes - A Magic Lantern Presentation Illustrated by W. Butcher & Sons, London (ca. 1910) accompanied by Thousand-and-One Nights Waltz played by the Edison Concert Band (1908)
Moving Pictures Accompanied by Period Phonograph Recordings
Snowball Fight in Lyon, France 1897 - A Lumière brothers film upscaled, colorized and accompanied by Snow Queen performed by the Indestructible Military Band (1909)
Workers Exit the Lumière Factory in Lyon, France 1895 - A Lumière brothers film upscaled, colorized and accompanied by Everybody Works But Father sung by Bob Roberts, Edison Records (1905)
Geraldine Farrar as Marguerite singing "The Jewel Song" in The World and Its Woman, 1919 film accompanied by Farrar's 1913 Victor Record No. 88147 of Marguerite's aria the "Jewel Song" from Gounod's Faust. (1 min 33 sec).
Other Phonographia Multi-Media
Happy Birthday Song for Friends of the Phonograph a.k.a. The Anniversary of your Birth Song
Happy New Year - Auld Lang Syne - Phonograph ephemera accompanied by Auld Lang Syne performed by the Mediaeval Baebes, 2014
Hello or Ahoy? - "Halloo!" "Hello" and Edison
The Phonograph and Santa - An excerpt from Thomas A. Edison’s 1905 moving picture “The Night Before Christmas” accompanied by Gene Autry’s 1953 record “Up on the Housetop.”
Ring Out the Bells for Christmas - Phonograph ephemera accompanied by Ring Out the Bells for Christmas, Edison Record No. 9806 (1907)
The Song of Mr. Phonograph - 2016 original version by ©Nick Jester and ©2020 Phonographia
Uncle Josh and the Lightning Rod Agent - Uncle Josh's encounter with a Lightning Rod Agent from his 1905 book Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories by Cal Stewart, "The Talking Machine Story Teller."
Uncle Josh on a Bicycle - Uncle Josh's rides a bicycle for the first time from his 1905 book Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories by Cal Stewart, "The Talking Machine Story Teller."
A Christmas Carol - A dramatized presentation featuring illustrations from "A Christmas Carol" print editions (1844–1915) and the recording of “The Awakening of Scrooge” on Edison Amberol Record No. 12378 (1911) performed by Bransby Williams as Ebenezer Scrooge as he awakens on Christmas Day.
The Earliest Combination of Sound and Film Made by W.K.L. Dickson, circa 1894/1895
WATCH to see and hear the original Edison Kinetophonographic movie that combined sound and film made by W.K.L. Dickson.
Courtesy the Library of Congress
W.K.L. Dickson Greets Friends of the Phonograph - William Dickson moving hat from one hand to another, Edison Studio, May 1891 Courtesy Library of Congress
PBS Mini-Documentaries related to the Phonograph
Edison: From the Telephone and Telegraph Comes the Phonograph - An American Experience video
Discover how one invention led to another when Thomas Edison and his Menlo Park laboratory team refined Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone and, along the way, invented the phonograph, a device, said the New York Times, destined to "entirely eclipse" the telephone.(1)
On December 7, 1877 Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph at the New York City offices of the nation’s leading technical weekly publication, “Scientific American.” This video features that event and the fame it brought to Edison (2:14 excerpted from the 2015 PBS American Experience “Edison.”)
The Vitascope, The Phonoscope, November 1896
"What the Phonograph is to the ear, the Vitascope is to the eye. The camera records the view, the Phonograph bottles up the sound, and the Vitascope preserves the action for future use..."
Our Correspondents, The Phonoscope, November 1896
Edison offered lantern slides of his "Old Couple" decalcomania to Edison Dealers, especially designed for use at moving picture shows, magic lantern exhibitions, etc., at a price of 35c each in plain black and white, or 90c in colors. Edison Phonograph Monthly, February 1910
Munsey's Magazine, April 1901 (quarter page ad, The Collection of Phonographia, PM-1827)
Uncle Sam and Kaiser Bill - Motion toy phonograph attachment, National Toy Co., 1919
Submarine Attack" A "Talking" Book, The Talking Book Corporation, Emerson Records 1919
The Moment the Guns Fell Silent - WW1 Armistice Interpretation (Sound Installation) by Coda to Coda, 2018