You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

The original live-streaming Before radios made broadcasting easy, there were théâtrophones. Beginning in the 1880s, subscribers across Europe listened to live musical performances at home through remote devices connected to music halls. — 

You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine. 

Imagine you live in Paris, France, in the early 1880s, and one day you want to go to the opera. An opera is a story in song, performed by people singing in a music hall. You want to attend the opera, but perhaps you don’t have a ride, or maybe you aren’t feeling well. No problem! Just listen from your living room on your own théâtrophone! They are all the rage! A wonderful device with a receiver for each ear from which you can hear the live opera performance! Anyone with a subscription can listen. Or, you can listen from other théâtrophones stationed all over the city in popular places like hotels and cafes for a few coins for so many minutes.

How did they come to be? In 1881, a gentleman by the name of Clement Ader demonstrated his telephonic transmission system at the International Exposition of Electricity, a popular event in the city of Paris. It was instantly popular when one of the first persons to use it at the exposition was Jules Grevy, the president of France!  After putting many microphones in amongst the floor lights at the Opera House and running telephone cable underground through the city sewers back to the exhibit hall, people who were there standing at the many receivers could listen to live opera!  

Eventually a company was started called The Théâtrophone Company. Many people subscribed and could listen from the comfort of their home. If you were a subscriber you would pay so much a month and be able to listen to a certain number of performances. As time went on they added comedy and news segments in their services. 

Over the next few years, several other European countries utilized the technology as well, as it became more popular. However, after about 50 years their popularity dwindled as more advances and inventions, such as the phonograph (record player) and radio over the airwaves, appeared on the scene. 

Wonderful technology and inventions such as these through the ages are what has helped to make Discovery Mountain’s dramatized audio programs possible! We’re glad that you can enjoy Discovery Mountain programs from home, the car or wherever you are! Keep exercising your faith!

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Here’s something you can make that will give you a small idea of what it’s like to use the théâtrophone. Enjoy!