Thomas Edison Demonstrates Telephone and Phonograph to National Academy of Sciences

image for Thomas Edison Demonstrates Telephone and Phonograph to National Academy of Sciences
Category
Chronology of Smithsonian History
Photograph of Thomas Alva Edison's foil phonograph of 1878. Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number 91-3690.
Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11, January 1866-December 1878: The Smithsonian Years. Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2007, p. 652.
Summary
Thomas Alva Edison demonstrates his phonograph and his use of carbon transmitters for the telephone at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences held at the Smithsonian Building on April 16-19, 1878. Edison's phonograph, which he had originally developed as a potential means of recording telephone conversations, had attracted widespread notice since being publicly announced in January. Invited by Smithsonian Secretary and National Academy president Joseph Henry to demonstrate his two inventions to the academy, Edison took advantage of his journey to Washington to exhibit the phonograph to members of Congress and to President Rutherford B. Hayes.
Contact information
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu
April 1878
Subject
Edison, Thomas A (Thomas Alva) 1847-1931
Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
Topic
Phonograph
Telephone
Inventors
Inventions
Place
Washington (D.C.)
Smithsonian Archives - History Div