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Did Edison Bite Off More Than He Could Chew ?

The newspaper archives are full of fascinating articles, news of the day as it happens, but some of the articles are just hard to believe. For example I was reading the Essex Free Press newspaper archives for 1913 when I came across an unbelievable article about Thomas Edison's newest invention.

Here is the transcript:

"In four weeks time it will be possible to see the face of a person that you are talking to over the telephone. No matter how far away the party is you can converse and study the expression of his or her face at the same time. The wizard electrical inventor, Thos. A. Edison has completed the invention with which he hopes to revolutionize the telephone business of the world and according to information received, in four weeks time it will be given to the public. To see the person that you are talking to has long been the dream of inventors but at the present time it has never been accomplished successfully and is practicable. The cost of operation is very little and it is expected that the invention,it is stated, works successfully and is practicable. Just how invention works is a secret, but it is said to be very simple in operation."
What do you think? Was he a visionary or was it a hoax?

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Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

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