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Broadside announcing a "Lecture on the Telephone by Professor Himes. Rheem's Hall, Thursday, June 13th [1878]"
1878. Printed broadside. Very good condition apart from some mild offsetting, a small water stain in the top right-hand corner, and slight discolouration of the paper due to age. A rare broadside advertising a lecture accompanied by one of the first ever public broadcasts of music over the telephone. On June 13, 1878, Charles Francis Himes, amateur photographer and erudite Professor of Natural Sciences at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, delivered a lecture on the nature and function of the newly invented telephone, which had been patented only two years before by Alexander Graham Bell. As this historical broadside publicizes, Himes' lecture included a demonstration of the telephone's startling capabilities in which music was broadcast through the telephone line by a Professor G. H. Barker at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Unlike its revolutionary predecessor the telegraph, the telephone made remote audio communication feasible and can thus be considered a precursor of the modern radio. During the 1870s and 1880s, its unprecedented capabilities were exploited, and the device was used to disseminate news and entertainment on an experimental basis. Although the first music concerts transmitted by telephone date to the late 1870s, regular, on-going entertainment broadcast services were not truly established until the 1890s in Paris, London and Hungary. Among the first on-going services in America were the Telephone Herald in Newark, New Jersey and Tel-musici in Wilmington, Delaware, both of which were established in the early 1900s. Tel-musici operated by subscription and distributed phonographic music over the telephone lines. Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Charles Francis Himes (1838-1918) studied at the New Oxford Collegiate and Medical Institute in Adams County, Pennsylvania before transferring to Dickinson College in 1853. After graduating from Dickinson in 1855, he taught natural science and mathematics at a number of institutions including the Wyoming Conference Academy, Baltimore Female College, and Troy University. In 1863, Himes enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Giessen in Germany, from which he earned a PhD in 1865. He was then appointed Professor of Natural Sciences at Dickinson College, where he remained until his retirement in 1896. Himes was a devoted faculty member at Dickinson, serving as school president between 1888 and 1889 and secretary and treasurer to the Board of Trustees from 1868 to 1896. He significantly enhanced the college's science curriculum and founded its first Scientific Society in 1867. His academic pursuits were not, however, limited to his position at Dickinson, and he was an active member of numerous external societies including the American Philosophical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Cumberland County Historical Society, and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where he frequently lectured. In 1858, Himes began to pursue his burgeoning interest in photography and consequently joined the Pennsylvania Photographic Society and Amateur Photographic Exchange Club in the early 1860s. In addition to exhibiting some of his work, he taught photography classes during the summers at Mountain Lake Park, Maryland.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-12-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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