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Meet Amazing Americans Scientists & Inventors Thomas Alva Edison

Screen shot from 'Dickson experimental sound film'

Edison's assistant, W.K.L. Dickson's attempt at a sound film from 1895

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Edison's Failed Inventions
From the beginning of the creation of motion pictures, many people tried to combine film and sound to make "talking" motion pictures. Here you can see an example of an early film attempting to combine sound with pictures made by Edison's assistant, W.K.L. Dickson.

By 1895, Edison had created the Kinetophone--a Kinetoscope (peep-hole motion picture viewer) with a phonograph that played inside the cabinet. Sound could be heard through two ear tubes while the viewer watched the images. This creation never really took off, and by 1915 Edison abandoned the idea of sound motion pictures.

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VIDEO CREDIT: Dickson, W.L.K., producer, Thomas A. Edison, Inc. "Dickson experimental sound film." 1895. Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies, Library of Congress.