This image is dated July 6, 1914. It shows William Ellis at age 85. The Hood River Glacier had a nice article marking his 84th birthday:
"Grandpa" Ellis Celebrates Birthday
"Grandpa" William Ellis celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday at the Dickinson house Sunday, when Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Dickinson surprised him with a dinner party. Mr. Ellis is one of the oldest members of the local Masonic lodge and five of his Masonic brethern were invited to enjoy the feast with him. Those spending the evening with Mr. Ellis were: Judge G. R. Castner, A. C. Buck, Truman Butler, C. K. Carson and D. McDonald. In the morning Mr. Ellis had spoken into a blank record of a phonograph. The machine was brought in and the speech was made at the dinner.
Edison phonographs could be used to record audio, two minutes at a time, if you had the "recorder" attachment and a blank wax cylinder. I actually own one of these and have tried to make recordings a few times. It's not easy, but to yell into a horn and have it yell back at you, a bit scratchy and muffled, still seems like magic.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Hope this link works for more info on William Ellis: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/24171740/william-m-ellis
cg on 14th June 2021 @ 7:48am
He was from England.
There is a Glacier news clipping for his 75th birthday in 1904, that says, "...William L. Ellis was 75 years old on Tuesday, March 29. He was in town on that day and felt so good he offered to wrestle with any man in town 10 years younger than himself...."
I had no idea that as early as 1914 there was an attempt to record voices.
L.E. on 14th June 2021 @ 7:53am