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Smithsonian American History Items

Signs and items from the Smithsonian's American History Museum, Washington, DC


Bell's Graphophone


Alexander Graham Bell adn his associates at the Volta Laboratory set out to best Thomas Edison's original phonograph.  They were convinced of the profit-making potential of an improved device -- especially one that could capture more clearly the speaking voice.  They originated wax cylinder recrods, and developed a machine to record and play them, the graphophone.

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Smithsonian American History Items

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Alexander Graham Bell
Charles Sumner Tainter
Chichester Alexander Bell

Posted By: Ray Gurganus

  1. Personal: Ray Gurganus, personal photograph taken at the Smithsonian Institution Museums;

Updated: 6-14-2021