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    [Edison Phonograph]. George C. Maynard Contract to Exhibit Phonographs Signed. Three pages (verso only), 8" x 12.5", Washington, May 10, 1878, forming a partnership between George C. Maynard and Winfield S. Chase "...for the purpose of exhibiting the Machine or Instrument known as Edison's Speaking Phonograph according to the regulations of the Phonograph Company..." and "...both parties shall share equaly [sic] in all expenses, profits and losses of said copartnership." The contract was set to last until October 1, 1878.

    Edison's Cylinder Phonograph was a result of his work in telegraphs and the telephone several years before his work on the incandescent light bulb. Initially trying to invent a machine that would transmit telegraphic messages using indentions on paper, he had the idea that it could be possible to record sounds in a similar fashion. He worked up a design for his new wonder and had it built. He recited the nursery rhyme "Mary had a little lamb" into his new machine and was amazed to hear his voice repeated back to him. An instant success, the novelty soon wore off within a year.

    Under the signatures of both parties appears a printed postscript, dated April 14, 1913, reading in full: "This business venture did not provi [sic] very profitable. After running the exhibition for some months, Chase took the machine and gave me his note for $75, as payment for it, but finally did not pay the note because, as he said, I could afford to lose the amount. What became of the Phonograph I never learned. Geo. C. Maynard."

    Three horizontal folds which are weakened and separating along the right edge with no loss of text.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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