Coming—The Talking Newspaper (Nov, 1932)

Coming—The Talking Newspaper

THE day of the talking book, the talking newspaper and the talking magazine is foreshadowed in the recent invention of a French machine which reads from a strip of film-like substance any speech that is recorded on it.

The new process utilizes some of the principles of phonograph recording to inscribe the voice waves on a celluloid tape, wound in movie-reel fashion, as illustrated below. On this tape a furrow whose contours represent the vibrations of sound waves replaces the printed word.
Reproduction of the voice may be performed immediately after recording. The former process is effected by the use of a photo-cell and loud speaker.

  1. carlm says: June 17, 20103:54 am

    This looks like precursor to the optical track used later on motion picture reels. Mag(netic) stock came much later.

  2. jayessell says: June 17, 20105:00 am

    Western Electric had sound on film in 1929 as shown here:…

    My mom gets BooksOnTape from the Library of Congress.
    She just received her digital audio book player.
    Cassettes have been replaced with flash memory cartridges.
    It’s an audio player, not text to speech, but pressing any button
    announces it’s function.
    “Power on” “Volume up”.

  3. Kosher Ham says: June 17, 201010:30 am

    Interestingly enough magnetic media, if replaced by flash, is going back to optical, such as CD and DVD.

  4. Jari says: June 17, 20104:34 pm

    The article mentions “contours”, which in my mind sounds like mechanical recording. A kind of phonograph groove in a tape.

  5. StanFlouride says: June 17, 20105:27 pm

    This will never catch on.
    Why would anyone ever give up reading their morning paper?

    Mark my words, the daily papers are going to last forever!

  6. Jeffk says: June 17, 20107:34 pm

    In 1919, De Forest filed the first patent on his sound-on-film process, which improved on the work of Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt and the German partnership Tri-Ergon, and called it the De Forest Phonofilm process

  7. Firebrand38 says: June 17, 20108:05 pm

    Jeffk: Actually DeForest took full credit for the work of Case and Earl I. Sponable that finally got Phonofilm to work in 1921

  8. Sean says: June 21, 20104:52 am

    When I looked at that picture, I could have sworn at first that the two men on the left were Chamberlain and Hitler.

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