Edison Talking Doll, 1889-1890

Summary

Thomas Edison's 1878 patent for a "phonographic" doll resulted in the production of about 100 "talking" dolls between 1889 and 1890. This doll "talked" by means of a scaled-down phonograph inside its body, which played nursery rhymes like "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Only made for a short time, the doll's mechanism was unreliable and the recorded voices scared children.

Thomas Edison's 1878 patent for a "phonographic" doll resulted in the production of about 100 "talking" dolls between 1889 and 1890. This doll "talked" by means of a scaled-down phonograph inside its body, which played nursery rhymes like "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Only made for a short time, the doll's mechanism was unreliable and the recorded voices scared children.

Artifact

Talking doll

Date Made

1889-1890

Creators

Edison Phonograph Toy Manufacturing Company 

Place of Creation

United States, New York, New York 

Creator Notes

Made by Edison Phonograph Toy Manufacturing Company in New York, New York

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

29.1980.1979

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of the Edison Pioneers.

Material

Composite material
Linen (Material)
Canvas
Plastic
Glass (Material)

Color

Brown
Pink (Color)
Purple
Yellow
Cream (Color)
Green

Dimensions

Height: 22 in

Width: 7.5 in

Depth: 4.25 in

Inscriptions

Back of head: S12H 719 DEP Bottom of each shoe: 10

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