Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Dr. Thaddeus Cahill, inventor of an electric typewriter, was designer and builder of the first musical synthesizer and, by default, originator of industrial muzak.His final design for the Telharmonium was completed in 1906.

This electro-mechanical device consisted of 145 rheotome/alternators capable of producing five octaves & was controlled from two touch-sensitive keyboards. Cahill's machine was invented before electronic amplification was available he had to build alternators that produced more than 10,000 watts. As a result the instrument was quite immense, Weighing approximately 200 tons.

When it was shipped from Holyoke, Massachusetts to New York City, over thirty railroad flatcars were enlisted in the effort. His idea was to transmit performances down the telephone line for people to listen to at home. A forunner of live streaming that we use today in conjunction with broad band.

Ultimately the project failed due to technical issues & was closed in 1911, Cahill managed to build three of these enormous machines, the last one in existence was sold for scrap by his brother in the Fifties.

No comments: