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Open Access The ‘talking machine’ comes to the Dutch East Indies: The arrival of Western media technology in Southeast Asia

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The ‘talking machine’ comes to the Dutch East Indies: The arrival of Western media technology in Southeast Asia

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The invention of sound recording technology in the nineteenth century was a modern miracle. Making possible the storage and preservation of sounds across time and distance, which previously could only be dreamed of, this invention contributed significantly to the developing entertainment world. Thomas Alva Edison first realized this dream in 1877 when he invented the tin-foil phonograph, which then inspired other scientists to perfect and develop his invention. During the last two decades of the 1800s sound recording machines were exhibited outside the United States of America, first in Europe and then in Australia and Asia. In Europe the machine was first demonstrated at the Academy of Science in Paris on 11 March 1878, where a French professor named Bonjour accused Edison of cheating. He stated that Edison was a ventriloquist.

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