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A Question of Business: Will Machines Replace Stenographers?

In 1877 Thomas A. Edison invented a machine that could record and reproduce the human voice using a tinfoil-covered cylinder. Edison’s phonograph, his trade name for his device, was followed in 1886 by Alexander Graham Bell’s graphophone that used wax cylinders. The possible use of such devices as business machines, and the effect this might have on stenographers, was widely debated during the latter 1880s and 1890s.

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