On This Day
1888 – George Edward Gouraud records Handel’s Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder, thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music.
George Edward Gouraud (30 June 1842 – 20 February 1912) 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.
He was the son of the French engineer François Fauvel Gouraud (1808–1847) who came to the US in 1839 to introduce the daguerrotype technology for photography. Both parents died in the summer of 1847. Gouraud fought for the United States Army during the Civil War 1861–1865, and received the Medal of Honor for bravery as a captain with the 3rd New York Volunteer Cavalry on November 30, 1864. He was later brevetted lieutenant colonel.
Working for Edison
He moved to London at the behest of American Railway magnate William Jackson Palmer to promote the Edison telegraph system. Gouraud did not meet Edison himself until 1874 when the latter was sent to demonstrate new equipment that he had invented to the British Post Office. As an enthusiast of new electric inventions, in the late 1880s and early 1890s he had many gadgets installed in his house at Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood in South London, which he renamed “Little Menlo” after Menlo Park, New Jersey where Edison’s research facility was situated.
Born On This Day
1858 – Julia Lathrop, American activist and politician (d. 1932)
Julia Clifford Lathrop (June 29, 1858 – April 15, 1932) was an American social reformer in the area of education, social policy, and children’s welfare. As director of the United States Children’s Bureau from 1912 to 1922, she was the first woman ever to head a United States federal bureau.
Julia Clifford Lathrop was born in Rockford, Illinois. Julia’s father, a lawyer and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, helped establish the Republican Party and served in the state legislature (1856–57) and Congress (1877–79). Her mother was a suffragist active in women’s rights activities in Rockford and a graduate of the first class of Rockford Female Seminary.
Lathrop attended Rockford Female Seminary where she met Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. After one year, she transferred to Vassar College, developing her own multidisciplinary studies in statistics, institutional history, sociology, and community organization and graduated in 1880. Afterwards, she worked in her father’s law office first as a secretary and then studying the law for herself.
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