Tin Box Lid

Tin Box Lid

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Description
This lid is all that remains of a box the Volta Laboratory Associates delivered to the Smithsonian for safekeeping on October 30, 1881. Inside the box was a copper disc recording (Cat. 312119) and a new kind of sound recording and playback device, which they called the graphophone (Cat. 312123).
The box—along with two others deposited by the Volta Associates in case of a patent challenge—remained sealed and stored in a Smithsonian vault until 1937, when Alexander Graham Bell’s daughters and a great grandson witnessed the opening.
Ink inscription reads: "Washington, D.C./October 19th 1881,/Deposited on behalf of Alexander Graham Bell,/Sumner Tainter, and Chichester A. Bell, /members of the Volta Laboratory /Association, by the undersigned--/Sumner Tainter/Chichester A. Bell"
References:
Leslie J. Newville, “Development of the Phonograph at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory,” in Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology, United States National Museum Bulletin 218, Paper 5 (1959): 69-79.
Wile, Raymond R. "The Development of Sound Recording at the Volta Laboratory," Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal 21, No. 2, 1990, pp. 208-225.
Object Name
tin box lid
Measurements
overall: 12 1/4 in x 16 1/2 in; 31.115 cm x 41.91 cm
ID Number
ME.312123.05
catalog number
312123.05
accession number
162298
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Hear My Voice
Communications
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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