What’s in a name? Edison’s Phonograph and the origins of dictation
Language Insight wouldn’t exist without the phonograph, but what other names did Edison consider for his groundbreaking invention?
The popular Lists of Note blog posted a fascinating entry this morning. In November 1877, the famous inventor Thomas Edison debuted his “phonograph,” a groundbreaking device that was capable of not just recording sound, but also replaying it. This machine introduced the fundamental principles of dictation to the general public, and it would also lay the foundations for the tape recorder, the Walkman and the iPod. However, prior to choosing “phonograph,” Edison and his colleagues came up with dozens of potential names for the invention — most using prefixes of Greek or Latin origin — and collated them in the following list.
Transcript follows. There will, of course, be errors.