Friday, 17 September 2010

Birth of the Talkies

The article in the March 1929 edition of The Strand that kicked off with the photo of the robot, posted yesterday then continued with stuff about sound recording and artifical music. The top pic is a scan of a page with two photos of the the early 'Talkies'. A frightfully stern chap and his gal are menaced by a huge chunk of metal for simultaneous sound-and-picture recording, and above you can see the results - masses of ticker-tape type stuff pouring out of massive kiosk-sized hunks of machinery.

The photo immediately above though is really fascinating - it shows M. Theramine showing off his self-named instrument to Sir Henry Wood (of Proms fame) and Sir Oliver Lodge, a celebrated physicist who was also a champion of spiritualism. His interest in the Theramine - which rather languished until 50s sci-fi movies and psychedelia came about decades later - was probably because of the suggestion that the inventor was apparently manipulating the 'ether' to create the sounds.

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