May 19, 2017

Thomas Edison Phonograph

This was written during 1877 about his phonograph. The same might be said about social apps and smart phones today.
“He has been addicted to electricity for many years,” the phonograph, with its ability to record speech, “will eventually destroy all confidence between man and man.”

Another paper of the time outlined ways phonographic technology might go wrong: greedy thieves might trick elderly millionaires into vocally amending their wills; sketchy neighbors might use opera recordings to lure women out of their homes; and wives might frighten their husbands out of sleep by playing a tape that yells “POLICE! FIRE!” over and over again. Editorial fear-mongering has not changed much during the past 140 years.