Author: Rachel Nackman

Rectangular gray recorder with microphone attached by cord; disks. Recorder has controls in red, black, and metal with white text: “B”, “L”, and “C”. In relief: “EDISON”; “VOICEWRITER”; “Thomas A. Edison”.
Take a Memo
This Voicewriter dictation machine, commonly known as a “dictaphone,” was produced throughout the 1950s by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. The 1953 model in the Cooper Hewitt’s collection represents one moment in the long evolution of the dictation machine, which began when Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. The inherent competition to dictation machines, in the form of the pesky human...
Through the Looking Glass
Does this object look familiar to you? If you’ve ever used a Google Cardboard, or if you grew up playing with a View-Master, you might recognize this stereoscope as a precursor of today’s virtual reality (VR) viewers. The first stereoscope was developed by the British scientist Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838, just before the invention...