Boxes placed in Smithsonian in 1881 by telephone inventor...

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Boxes placed in Smithsonian in 1881 by telephone inventor opened for first time. Washington, D.C., Oct. Three boxes which Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, and two associates placed in the secret archives of the Smithsonian Institution in 1881 and which have remained [un][?]opened since, were formally opened today in the presence of Bell's two daughters and a group of scientists. The boxes contained among other things the original working model of the first machine ever to record on wax and reproduce the Human voice. In the photograph, left to right: Mrs. David Fairchild, daughter of the inventor; Mrs. Gilbert Grosvenor, another daughter; Alexander Graham Bell, great-grandson of Bell; T.H. Beard, Director or Research of the Dictaphone Co.; Dr. Charles Abbot, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; and H.W. Dorsey, also of the Smithsonian. 10/27/37

Part of the U.S. Library of Congress's Harris & Ewing Collection (Library of Congress).

Harris & Ewing, photographer
  • Glass negatives.
  • 1 negative : glass ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller
  • Title from unverified caption data received with the Harris & Ewing Collection.
  • Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955.
  • General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at
  • Temp. note: Batch five.


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