Familiarity breeds contempt.
The gramophone so common now, that we have ceased to wonder at it. Yet it is a truly wonderful invention; and even now, if we give it a thought, we cannot help marveling that is possible to catch such a fleeting thing as sound, a record it in such a way that it can be repeated a reproduced at will so that we can actually hear the very words and the tones of the voice of a man who died, it may be, years ago.
The uses of the gramophone, or talking machine, are many. Its main use is to give pleasure — all the pleasure that music can give. It is a great boon to music lovers who have little opportunity of hearing good music, such as those who live in small country places, or in foreign lands far from civilization.
Such can listen to the voices of the greatest singers and the finest orchestras of the day; for the gramophone is now so perfected that a good machine reproduces the finest shades of tone and expression of the human voice and of musical instruments.
It has, too, its educational uses, especially in teaching music and singing. A singer, by listening to a song sung by some great master, can learn how that song should be sung; and he can have the song repeated over and over again, until he has mastered it.
Businessmen, especially in America, use it to save time. A businessman can speak into a gramophone the letter he wants typed into his office, and his clerk then takes the record to his own desk, and, setting the gramophone going, types the tenet from the words reproduced by the machine.
A concealed gramophone has sometimes been used by detectives to record statements made by suspected persons, which are reproduced as evidence against them.
Finally, the gramophone will have a great historical value, for it can preserve for all time the words spoken by great speakers and the songs sung by great singers, long after they have passed away.