Saturday, February 21, 2009
Non-profit Technology Push c. 1907
From a Vault in Paris, Sounds of Opera 1907
By ALAN RIDING
Published: February 16, 2009
PARIS — On Dec. 24, 1907, a group of bewhiskered men gathered in the bowels of the Paris Opera to begin a project that by definition they could never see to fruition. First, 24 carefully wrapped wax records were placed inside two lead and iron containers. These were then sealed and locked in a small storage room with instructions that they should remain undisturbed for 100 years.
The man behind this musical time capsule was Alfred Clark, a New Yorker who headed the London-based Gramophone Company and had provided the records. And in truth, once the ceremony was over, he had achieved his primary objective of drawing attention to his company and to the new flat-disc records it was promoting to compete with the better-known cylinders.
“I know of no other case where a commercial firm has obtained so much free publicity as we have,” he wrote to a colleague two days later.