Oxford University Press 1988 ISBN 0-19-504468-1
"Commercial interest in a larger, less exclusive
audience (((for the theatrophone))) was not far behind.
'Nickel-in-the-slot' versions of the hookups provided by
the Theatrophone Company of Paris to its individual
subscribers were offered as a public novelty at some
resorts. A franc bought five minutes of listening time;
fifty centimes brought half as much. Between acts and
whenever all curtains were down, the company piped out
piano solos from its offices.
"In England in 1889 a novel experiment permitted
'numbers of people' at Hastings to hear *The Yeoman of the
Guard* nightly. Two years later theatrophones were
installed at the elegant Savoy Hotel in London, on the
Paris coin-in-the-slot principle. For the International
Electrical Exhibition of 1892, musical performances were
transmitted from London to the Crystal Palace, and long-
distance to Liverpool and Manchester. In the hotels and
public places of London, it was said, anyone might listen
to five minutes of theatre or music for the equivalent of
five or ten cents. One of these places was the Earl's
Court Exhibition, where for a few pence 'scraps of play,
music-hall ditty, or opera could be heard fairly well by
page 212 (((Meanwhile, in the United States:)))
"Informal entertainments were sometimes spontaneously
organized by telephone operators during the wee hours of
the night, when customer calls were few and far between.
On a circuit of several stations, operators might sit and
exchange amusing stories. One night in 1981 operators at
Worcester, Fall River, Boston, Springfield, Providence and
New York organized their own concert. The *Boston
Evening Record* reported:
'The operator in Providence plays the banjo, the
Worcester operator the harmonica, and gently the others
sing. Some tune will be started by the players and the
other will sing. To appreciate the effect, one must have
a transmitter close to his ear. The music will sound as
clear as though it were in the same room.'
"A thousand people were said to have listened to a
formal recital presented through the facilities of the
Home Telephone Company in Painesville, Ohio, in 1905.
And, portent of the future, in 1912 the New York
Magnaphone and Music Company installed motor-driven
phonographs that sent recorded music to local subscribers
over a hundred transmitters."