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Telharmonium Hall

Historical place

US |

Public

Source: Archive.org

On this spot at Broadway and 39th Street music was generated live at a "music plant with a telharmonium. It was the first known music streaming service. The Telharmonium (also known as the Dynamophone) was an early electrical organ, developed by Thaddeus Cahill circa 1896 and patented in 1897. The electrical signal from the Telharmonium was transmitted over wires; it was heard on the receiving end by means of "horn" speakers. A small number of performances in front of a live audience were given in addition to the telephone transmissions. Performances in New York City (some here at 39th and Broadway) were well received by the public in 1906, and the performer would sit at a console to control the instrument. The actual mechanism of the instrument itself was so large it occupied an entire room — wires from the controlling console were fed discreetly through holes in the floor of an auditorium into the instrument room itself, which was housed in the basement beneath the concert hall. Problems began to arise when telephone broadcasts of Telharmonium music were subject to crosstalk and unsuspecting telephone users would be interrupted by strange electronic music. By 1912, interest in this revolutionary instrument had changed, and Cahill's company was declared not successful in 1914.

Source: Wikipedia

Address

Boradway x 39th street
Manhattan, New York
United States

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