[EDISON] "Edison and the Electric Light", an article in the 12 February 1880 issue of Nature, pp 341-342 in the issue of pp 341-364, the weekly issue removed from a larger bound volume. This report in the great journal Nature and appears just a few months after the set of Edison's successful tests in October and November 1879 that put the finishing touches on his invention. $200
[EDISON] “Das Phonograph”, in Illustrirte Zeitung (Leipzig), 16 February 1878. This is a tall, tight, one-column contribution with two illustrations, appearing just a few weeks after its American appearance. The entire weekly issue is offered, removed from a larger bound volume. Very good copy. $300
[EDISON] Edison's name was not a popular item in the average American home before his invention of the phonograph. It was actually some months later, after the initial announcement in 1877, that Edison became justifiably famous. It is difficult today to place the amazement and astonishment that greeted the invention--there was nothing like it, before, ever--except for writing, of course, and then the recording telegraph. It was a sensational piece of power, being able to record and save sound--and then play it back again. It was the first time in human history that the auditory sense world could be audibly preserved.
- Edison, Thomas. The Talking Phonograph. London: Nature, January 3, 1878 Royal 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition, removed from larger bound volume. $450
This is a two-page report on Edison's visit to the offices of Nature and his very successful demonstration of his new phonograph machine (the patent for which is applied for December 27, 1877). The editors record their favorable impressions of the machine and describe it in some detail--there is even a small woodcut illustration of the device. In all the article occupies pages 190-191 of the weekly issue. It is removed from a larger bound voliume but does come with the uncommon front wrapper and rear ads. Uncommon.
- Mayer, Alfred M.. Edison's Talking-Machine. London: Nature Magazine, vol 17 #441, April 11, 1878. 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition, removed from larger bound volume. $175
Alfred Marshall Mayer (1836-1897) was an American physicst and astronomer who at the time of publication was professor of physics at Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey), and concentrated during this part of the decade was on acoustics, and so was well-qualified to comment on the Edison invention. Mayer's article stated that "Mr. Thomas A. Edison has recently invented an instrument which is undoubtedly the acoustic marvel of the century" and proceeded to discuss the composition of the machine. Occupies pages 469-471 with three drawings in text--quite a long contribution by Nature standards. This seems to be the second earliest statement on the phonograph in Nature preceded only by Edison's paper four months earlier--which seems to me to be a long period of silence on such an important invention. Offered with the original front wrapper and five pages of ads; removed from larger bound collection.