December 1 – Valdemar’s wire, Laurel & Hardy


Danish engineer, inventor Valdemar Poulsen (a telephone engineer in Copenhagen) applies for a patent (US#661619, issued Nov. 1, 1900) for his Telegraphone … the first magnetic sound recording device.

It records on wire wrapped around a drum. Audio fidelity is poor, but wire recordings could be heard in headsets without amplification. Helpful, since vacuum tubes hadn’t been invented yet!

At the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, Poulsen makes the world’s oldest magnetic recording, the voice of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.

In the early 20th century, wire recorders are used largely by businesses for dictation — they are the only decent consumer recording medium. After WW2, wire is quickly replaced by magnetic tape recorders.

See also: Recording History


Scene from ‘Babes in Toyland’ (1934)

Early US film comedy team Laurel and Hardy appear on US TV for the first and only time — on the Ralph Edwards show This Is Your Life.

Much of the music in the L&H films (and Our Gang too) is written by Leroy Shield (*). Their ‘theme’ music, ‘The Dance of the Cuckoos’, is written in 1928 by Thomas Marvin Hatley.
▷The Ku-Ku Song Man!▹ ▷The Music of Shield and Hatley▹
Edwards  Finger Wiggle  Music Box (1932)  Sheild music 

 ( Laurel and Hardy Central fansite

See also: Filmography