December 30, 2011

Just A few More Words About Elisha Gray

It seems appropriate to say something on the anniversary of the day (after) he gave the first demonstration of his wonderful musical telegraph device. I would classify this entry as historical fiction. Can't you just imagine being in that church on a dark, snowy December night in 1874? It must have been been so exciting! What if you were sitting there in a pew, and you were very young. You might not know exactly what's going on, but you'd know it was important, with all the reporters and photographers. Every one sitting and waiting in silence with batted breath as the machine is assembled, plugged in, turned on. The already dim lights flicker a little as the electricity of the building is redistributed. An eerie mood filling the sanctity with the lingering smoke of the camera flashes. And then…

...the sound. Like nothing you've ever heard before! Musical notes, but bright and pure with an unwavering pitch. The minister declares the invention a Christmas Miracle! The evening ends and you go home, but so excited that you can hardly sleep. So many ideas about racing through your head about how the machine could be used. Imagining the machine, being used to play a solo in an orchestra but from the other side of the world! The next day you find a photograph in the news paper from the night before. You tack it onto the wall above your bed. And for the rest of your life, you never hear about this marvelous instrument again.

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