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1922 __ « The Audion » — experimental animated sound-on-disc film
Comment : Western Electric presented an experimental animated sound-on-disc film "The Audion" at Yale on Oct. 27, 1922. Cecil B. DeMille began using the Western Electric public address system to instruct extras on his movie sets at Paramount. (Steven E. Schoenherr, "Motion Picture Sound 1910-1929", 1999)Outside of the phonograph industry the possibility of other applications of the new recording method arose. A set of records was made to provide a running commentary to a Bell System motion picture entitled "The Audion," an animation explaining the workings of the vacuum tube. In order to play the records in time with the film, a somewhat crude but adequate method of synchronization was used. Two revolution counters were mounted side by side, one connected to the motion picture machine, the other by a flexible shaft to the record turntable. The motion picture operator could keep the two counters reading alike to within about a second by means of a rheostat on the picture machine. This was close enough for a commentary. The Audion film with its records was exhibited by Craft at Woolsey Hall, New Haven, on October 27, 1922. The occasion remains very vivid to the writer who, since his voice had been used in making the records, was induced to sit up in the organ loft during the performance with a microphone to carry on in case the reproducing system should go on strike. Through some last minute change in lighting or what-not, he was unable to see what was happening on the screen, so it is as well that the electrical system worked. There might otherwise never have been any talkies!. (Stanley Watkins)
Source : Watkins, Stanley (1946), “Madam, Will You Talk?”, Bell Laboratories Record, August 1946, Volume XXIV, Number VIII, Pages 289-295.
Urls : http://www.cahabahometheater.com/documents/information/motionpicturesound.pdf (last visited ) http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/recording/ar169.html (last visited )

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