Arts & Entertainment

Thomas Edison National Historical Park Displays "The Origins of Sound Recording" Exhibit


WEST ORANGE, NJ — In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of French inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville’s birth, West Orange’s Thomas Edison National Historical Park (TENHP) hosted an international symposium entitled “The Origins of Sound Recording: Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville Bicentennial Symposium.”

The National Park Service recently announced the release of an online exhibit and videos that share the latest historical research into the beginnings of recorded sound technology. The web presentation is available HERE.

A physical version of the exhibit, which includes a full-scale replica 1859 Scott phonautograph, is on display at TENHP this summer through Aug. 27.

Sign Up for E-News

Researchers Patrick Feaster and David Giovannoni presented their latest findings to an audience of scholars, teachers, students, writers, and documentarians at the TENHP event. Included among the attendees were American representatives from the National Park Service, French dignitaries from the scientific establishment, and representatives of both Scott's and Edison's families. The new web presentation features video recordings of the full program.

Recent research calls attention to the work of Scott (1817-1879), whose phonautograph, which was patented in France in 1857, graphically inscribed airborne sounds over time onto a permanent medium. As such, it was the earliest sound-recording device.

Twenty years later, Thomas Edison independently re-invented sound recording in the form of the phonograph—the first device to both record and reproduce (or “playback”) sound.

The web exhibit, authored by researcher David Giovannoni, contextualizes and compares the innovations of Scott and Edison. It also explains the role of Charles Cros (1842-1888), a visionary Frenchman who conceptualized sound reproduction just weeks before Edison. 

Although both Scott and Cros anticipated a number of essential elements of Edison’s phonograph, historical evidence indicates that Edison conceived of sound recording without prior knowledge of their work.

Because Scott's phonautograph lacked the ability to playback its recordings, he was unable to prove that it actually captured interpretable sound recordings, and faced skepticism. The significance of Scott's phonautograph was not fully recognized during his lifetime. In 2008, researchers Giovannoni and Feaster located Scott’s surviving recordings in French archives. 

Using digital technologies, they demonstrated that Scott's recordings could be understood upon playback. This confirmed Scott as the initial inventor of sound recording and called upon historians to re-examine and reframe Edison’s 1877 invention of the phonograph.

As of 2017, there is access to a much fuller, clearer picture of Scott’s history, and a better understanding of how it relates to Edison’s first phonograph.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is located at 211 Main Street in West Orange. To learn more about TENHP, click HERE or call (973) 736-0550. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

deAmour Salon - Complimentary Blowout with Other Select Services - $40+ Value

March 24, 2018

Millburn, NJ - Salon Profilo in Milburn has recently rebranded to deAmour Salon & Spa! In celebration, owners Roula and Grace are inviting new and existing clients to enjoy a complimentary blowout with any color service. Call (973) 379-8300 to schedule your appointment. Promo code: TAP COLOR

deAmor Salon specializes in multiple coloring techniques and stays current on industry ...

Guerrero Martial Arts Kids - 50% OFF

CALDWELL, NJ - Guerrero Martial Arts in Caldwell is offering 50% off of their regular 6 week trial program.  Regular price of $69 is being slashed in half to only $34.59 for a limited time only. 

Redeem this discount by clicking HERE and entering in coupon code: TAPKIDS

Six week package includes 12 lessons (2x per week) and a uniform!

" Martial arts ...

Livingston Smiles - $150 Value

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston Smiles is offering a Smile Analysis and FREE consultation - $150 value.  Call today to make an appointment: (973) 992-4099.  Mention this ad to claim this offer!

Take the quiz to find out if you should take advantage Dr. Krugmans' offer!

About Dr. Krugman:

A lifetime resident of Livingston, Dr. Gary Krugman has dedicated over 35 years to ...

New Challenge Starts April 9 at Max Challenge of West Orange

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Max Challenge of West Orange is gearing up for its next Challenge.

"Enrolling in The Max Challenge of West Orange is like having a Personal Trainer, a Nutritionist and a Success Coach all in one! Our fitness classes are for ALL FITNESS LEVELS offering modifications for all exercises whether you are just starting out or just need something different!"

Visit ...

10% OFF at Advantage Pest Control

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Advantage Pest Control is now offering 10% OFF new termite services. Call now to take advantage of this limit time offer! Call and ask for the "TAP DISCOUNT" (973) 736-1007

"We combine our knowledge of construction and termite biology so we can offer the right options for treatment to fit any situation and budget. We feature Termidor termiticide ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 8:30 PM

West Orange

Conserve and Protect the Environment by ...



Mon, March 26, 9:00 AM

My Tech Learning STEM EdVenture Lab, Livingston

Calling All Artists & Inventors to My Tech's ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

To the Editor: This National Literacy Month, Let's Rein In Screen Time

March 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

As speech-language pathologists across New Jersey prepare to mark “National March into Literacy Month,” let’s address the alarming number of young children who spend countless hours a day on a handheld screen.

According to a study from the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the more time that children under two years spend on smartphones, tablets and ...

Conserve and Protect the Environment by Participating in Earth Hour

March 21, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — For the past seven years, Town Council President Susan McCartney has registered the Township of West Orange as a community pledging to participate in this global Earth Hour event—the simple act of joining millions of others from 170 countries around the world in turning off the lights for one hour, she explained.

Each year, the township is joined by a ...

Former Rumson Student Arrested for Possessing MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, Silencer, Explosive Chemicals

March 19, 2018

MONMOUTH, NJ — A former Rumson High School student, Maximilien Reynolds, 19, was arrested in Ithaca, NY, and charged with Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device/Silencer, False Statement in Acquisition of a Firearm and False Statement in Required Firearm Record.

Specifically, he is alleged to have possessed an MSR-15 Patrol ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...