The “Necrophone” is an unsuccessful project by Thomas Edison, consisting in creating a machine that would have been able to communicate with the dead.
Le nécrophone : une invention inachevée de Thomas Edison

Credit : Matthew Brady

While Thomas Edison is best known for his inventions such as the phonograph and the light bulb, did you know that in the last years of his life he tried to design a machine that would have brought him into contact with our dead spirits?

In fact, apart from his scientific research, Thomas Edison was also a great fan of occultism and spiritualism. He apparently belonged to an association specialising in the paranormal that brought together the great names of his time, such as Charles Dickens, or the pioneer of the British “ghost hunt” Harry Price. Thus was born in 1862 in London, the Ghost Club.

Thomas Edison even had his own theory about spirits. Indeed, according to the latter, they would be made of particles. When the latter come together, it would form what we call spirits or entities.

It is therefore by being part of this reserved and privileged club that Edison will work on the design of the “necrophone”. A device that would continuously record voices and sounds that would be supposed to come from beyond. For the anecdote, the name of this unfinished invention was not found by its inventor.

Do we have any proof that the creator of the dreaded electric chair was working on a project of this kind?

It seems so. A reference to this invention project can be found in the last chapter of his Memoirs and Observations entitled “The Kingdom of the Beyond”, which appeared for the very first time in 1948, 17 years after Edison’s death. At that time, he was working with his friend and assistant William Walter Dinwiddie, who reportedly revealed that some kind of pact had been made between himself and Thomas Edison. They would have promised themselves that if one of them were to die, then the latter would try to send a message from Beyond to the only survivor of death.

Did Edison succeed in getting this project done?

While the latter firmly believed in the existence of ghosts and even assumed that they were talkative and had things to tell us about the “afterlife”, he did not have time to complete the design of this machine. In 1931, Thomas Edison died at the age of 84 and left behind a great mystery about the success or otherwise of this invention.

Credit-Image on the front page: Reserved Rights (DR)


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John Sinclair

Venusien

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