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Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

This latest addition to the Library of Congress American memory site (last described in the January 8, 1998 Scout Report) highlights Thomas Edison's entertainment inventions. Included in the 1,093 patents Edison received in his lifetime were the phonograph, the Kinetograph (a motion picture camera), and the Kinetoscope (a motion picture viewer). A large number of movies and recordings made by Edison and his companies survive today in the Library of Congress, and this site offers a large sampling, including 341 Edison motion pictures, 81 disc sound recordings, and several photographs, advertisements, and magazine articles. These audio and video selections offer a glimpse into not only the inventor and his achievements, but also turn-of-the-century American history and culture. The motion pictures are available in either MPEG or Quicktime format and may be browsed chronologically, alphabetically, or by genre. RealAudio recordings may be browsed by genre or alphabetically. Selections in both categories represent the wide diversity of subject matter covered by the Edison Company. Users wishing to see or hear the inventor himself will want to examine the motion picture, A Day with Thomas A. Edison (1922) or the recording "Let Us Not Forget" (1919). Additional resources at the site include a biography, timeline, bibliography, and internal keyword search engine.
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Date Issued
Data Type
Required Software
Date of Scout Publication
January 15th, 1999
Date Of Record Creation
April 7th, 2003 at 12:37pm
Date Of Record Release
April 7th, 2003 at 12:37pm
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