voicesfromthedeadIn the early 1920`s Edison published an article in the Scientific American where he speculated that it was possible to build a machine that could communicate with the dead and this was fueled by earlier rumors in an interview he gave in 1890, where he promoted the idea that he was in the process of building one but no evidence was put forward to substantiate these claims. The rumor, however, gained international exposure in newspapers around the world and he later admitted that his assertions had no basis in truth. It is possible that whilst he was experimenting with the phonograph and playing music backwards it may have led him to incorrectly surmise that he was hearing voices from the dead because of the inconsistency of the sentences and the “unnatural sounds” that emanated from it.

Despite these denials the spiritualist movement which gained prominence around 1840`s to 1920 took his claims seriously and an American photographer Attila von Szalay, who was at the time concentrating on taking images of ghosts, then turned his attention to recording voices from the dead by attempting to duplicate the process.