The Talking Doll

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Issued in 1889, the Edison Talking Doll had a short live.  At that time, Edison had no arrangements with Bell for the wax recording patent, except the one for dictating machines.  Thinking he could pass over it, these dolls were put under production using the Bell & Tainter idea of wax cylinder recording.   The reaction was quick and hard to him.  He had to stop the sale of dolls with motor.  This can explain why most of the dolls found nowadays are empty.  It can be found with two different kinds of original German bisque head:

- the Simon & Halbig one, marked "S12H 719" and, under "DEP", 719 being the mould number and 12 certainly the size, and

- the Bahr & Proschild, only marked "224" (mould number), and "12" (size).

Several of the 2 kinds have been found.  Personally, on the 4 bought, only one was a S & H and the 3 other ones were B & P.

 

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Copy of the original list of available songs and the tag sold with the doll.

This one was singing song No 7: Little Jack Horner

 

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The doll dressed and undressed.  In the center, a girl is recording one of the 12 available titles.  As, at that time, the moulding of cylinders was impossible, each cylinder was an original recording.

 

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These are new wax reproduction cylinders for the doll.  All original ones have been cracked, due to dilatation problems in relationship with their small length and their large diameter. Compared to the Edison ones, the new cylinders have been improved by incorporating into the wax a metallic mesh to reinforce them.  They are recorded with: Mary has a little lamb...

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