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George Edward Gouraud
George E Gouraud Vanity Fair 13 April 1889.jpg
Gouraud as caricatured by Ape (Carlo Pellegrini) in Vanity Fair, April 1889
Born June 30, 1842
Died February 20, 1912
Place of birth Niagara Falls, New York
Place of death Vevey, Switzerland
Allegiance United States of America
Union
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 55th Massachusetts Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War
*Battle of Honey Hill
Awards Medal of Honor

George Edward Gouraud (30 June 1842 - 20 February 1912)[1] was an American Civil War recipient of the Medal of Honor who later became famous for introducing the new Edison Phonograph cylinder audio recording technology to England in 1888.

BiographyEdit

Gouraud fought for the United States Army during the Civil War, and received the Medal of Honor for bravery as a Captain with the 55th Massachusetts on November 30, 1864. He was later brevetted Lieutenant Colonel.

He later acted as an agent for Thomas Edison in London. As an enthusiast of new electric inventions, he had many such gadgets installed in his house at Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, in South London, which became known as "Little Menlo" after Menlo Park, New Jersey where Edison's company was situated in the United States.

In 1888, Thomas Edison sent his "Perfected" Phonograph to Gouraud in London and on 14 August 1888, Gouraud introduced the phonograph to London in a press conference, including the playing of a piano and cornet recording of Arthur Sullivan's "The Lost Chord", one of the first recordings of music ever made.[2]

A series of parties followed, introducing the phonograph to members of society at "Little Menlo". Sullivan was invited to one of these on 5 October 1888. After dinner, he recorded a speech to be sent to Thomas Edison, saying, in part:

I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at the result of this evening's experiments: astonished at the wonderful power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music may be put on record forever. But all the same I think it is the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced, and I congratulate you with all my heart on this wonderful discovery.[2]

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