The Ediphone: June 13, 1918

We have the Dictaphone.

Now, here’s an advertisement for the the competitor of the Dictaphone: The Ediphone. 

Though similar in concept to the former, the difference between the two systems was, according to, “…the recording method, with Edison using ‘hill and dale’ recording, while the Graphophone used lateral (side to side) recording.  The cylinders could have a layer of wax shaved off, to enable re-use.” 

The advertisement below, which appeared in The New York Times on June 13, 1918, is (hey, unsurprisingly!) strikingly similar in image and message to the three advertisements for the Dictaphone:  A pensive business owner or supervisor looks over the office floor, and noting three unoccupied desks – each with a placard prominently denoting that the worker is on (?! – gasp!) “Vacation”, muses upon the need to hire inadequately trained substitute employees (temps?) to accomplish the work of trained personnel.  To the rescue?  The Ediphone!

Intriguingly, the advertisement closes – again, as did the three ads for the Dictaphone – with the suggestion that the prospective customer obtain a copy of the Ediphone company’s free publication, “Better Letters Magazine”.

Scroll down to read the transcribed text of the advertisement…

Don’t worry about “substitute” stenographers

Vacation time is looming up.  Usually that means strange faces trying to handle strange jobs – never a good or satisfactory combination.

This summer your problem is multiplied.  You are short of regular help – it looks impossible to get good substitutes to fill in.  And you are using the shorthand system to boot.

Right you are.  If The Ediphone were on duty in your office all the time you would not be wrinkling your brow on “what to do”.

You would be right side up because you would be able to handle your correspondence efficiently and economically right through the summer.  That’s a plain truth you will discover as soon as you know The Ediphone.


The Ediphone


Call Barnes – Rector 3598

Edwin C. Barnes & Bros.

114 Liberty Street

“Build by Edison – Installed by Barnes”
Ask for Edison’s Better Letters Magazine
Newark office: 207 Market Street (Tel. Market 8053)


This video, by Shawn Borri, demonstrates how to use the Ediphone…

This video, by “The Victrola Guy“, is a presentation of a complete Edison Ediphone and Transcription Machine…


Dictation Machine  (at Wikipedia)

Ediphone (at Museum of Obsolete Media)

Shawn Borri’s YouTube Channel (“Postings of music, and experiments, even daily thoughts of Shawn Borri, controversial ” Mad Audio Scientist”.)

TheVictrolaGuy’s YouTube Channel (“This is an ongoing series of experiments of recording on the Edison Cylinder Phonograph…”)

Pilot Radio: October, 1945

It’s late 1945.  The war has just ended. 

G.I.s are returning.  Many have already returned.

Consumer products are once again becoming available.  In abundance.  In quality.  In variety.

Time for a return to normalcy.  (Albeit, in the retrospect of 2017, a fortuitous, temporary, historically anomalous, overly romanticized normalcy.  Hey, it was nice while it lasted.)

And so we encounter an optimistic, symbolic advertisement from Pilot Radio.  The company was founded in 1919 in Brooklyn, New York by former test pilot Isidore Goldberg, as the Pilot Electronic Manufacturing Company, the name changing in 1932 to “Pilot Radio”.  The company was acquired by Emerson Radio in 1965.   

The advertisement is symbolic and optimistic, with the curious image of an hourglass – denoting the march of time – before a receding horizon.  No actual products are promoted or described.  Rather, the ad’s message is one of pride:  “We’re back”…(note the “To Be Opened Soon” gift box) to manufacture radio and televisions for the consumer market. 

Tested by time in countless homes throughout the world, Pilot Radio has scored a triumph for dependability and unfaltering performance through the war years.  Let the satisfaction of present and past Pilot Radio owners be your guide to greater listening pleasure in the future.

Remember the Pilot Radio trademark.  You’ll be seeing it soon on radio sets that combine the experience of many years in the science of electronics with the artistry of quality production.  It will pay you to wait for a Pilot Radio.

Pilot Radio has also pioneered in television since 1928 and will soon bring you television in its most perfected form.  If you would like to receive further information about Pilot Radio’s activities in television, fill out and mail the coupon below.

“Symbol of Quality”

Pioneers in Frequency Modulation and Television



Early Television Museum – Pilot Radio Corporation History (at Early Television)

Emerson Radio (at Wikipedia)