Hiram College

edisonrecordIt’s a case of what goes around comes around. Old-school vinyl records are making their way back into heavy rotation. Ed Pershey, director of special projects at the Western Reserve Historical Society, will speak about the original invention of sound recording at the Friends of the Library fall program “Original Groovy Man: Thomas Edison,” Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Hiram College Library.

“The very idea that one could capture and replay sound rests with his first phonograph. Try to imagine a world without music at your fingertips,” Pershey says of the connections between Edison’s invention and today’s musical culture.


Jeff Wanser (left), collection development and government documents librarian at Hiram College, will speak briefly about the recorded music collections in the Hiram College Library during the Edison event. He is joined by Library Director David Everett.

Pershey plans to bring early sound recording to the program. He says that attendees can expect to hear compositions from more than 100 years ago and discover that many early musical pieces are sill so familiar. His decision to do this program stems from when he was the chief curator at Edison’s laboratory in West Orange, NJ, home of the original Edison phonograph.

“When Edison first invented the phonograph, neither he nor anyone else quite knew what to use it for. Nobody in 1877 and 1878 needed to record sound,” Pershey notes of what he describes as a “wow factor” in the program.

Free and open to the public, the Friends of the Library fall program will begin at 7 p.m. in the Pritchard Room in the Hiram College Library, 11694 Hayden St, Hiram, OH 44234. For more information, contact David Everett at everettdd@hiram.edu or call 330.569.5353.