Making Pictures Talk II

Lead: Making pictures talk, putting sound with film, took decades to develop. It required a whole new kind of technology.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The problem was synchronization and sound quality. Essayist Curt Wohleber writes that even if an inventor could have gotten lips to synch with pictures of the person speaking, turn of the century sound reproduction was so bad that it would have ruined the effect. Yet, by 1910, the tools were in place which would ultimately solve the problem. Alexander Graham Bell and his telephone had demonstrated that sound could be converted into an electric signal. Then Lee de Forest developed the audion, a vacuum tube that amplified and manipulated recorded sound. By 1920 De Forest had developed a new system, which converted sound into light. Processed by an audion, light was shined through a thin slit and recorded on the movie film at the exactly the right time, therefore speaking lips fit with spoken words.

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Making Pictures Talk I

Lead: Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph and the motion picture. Putting them together proved to be extraordinarily difficult.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1877 Edison introduced his first sound recording, his own voice reading "Mary Had a Little Lamb." A dozen years later, with an improved version on the market, he started work on method of recording and reproducing moving photographs.

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Mr. Watt’s Slight Innovation

Lead: There was not much of an Industrial Revolution until a slight improvement by the Scottish inventor, James Watt.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Industrial progress is marked by long series of bottlenecks overcome by small but clever innovations. For centuries the main product of England was wool. First in raw form, cut from English sheep and shipped to the factories of the Netherlands, and later fabricated in English shops into simple woolen clothing. By 1700 the added popularity of cotton clothing created an opportunity. Already the machinery had been invented which could take raw cotton and wool and make cheap clothing for the mass market, but to operate those machines required energy. Primitive factories used water wheels turned by swiftly moving streams and rivers but there were just so many usable water sources around. Perhaps it was thought this first great modern energy crisis could be resolved by steam power.

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Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment III

A single vote saved Andrew Johnson from disgrace.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1865 President Johnson wanted to quickly ease the South back into the national mainstream, but his stubbornness and irascible disposition complicated his ability in facing an array of opponents, the most formidable of which were the Radical Republicans. Led by Benjamin Wade and Charles Sumner in the Senate and Thaddeus Stevens in the House, the radicals were determined to treat the South as if it were conquered territory. In addition, they wished to force full citizenship for blacks on a South filled with whites who up to then considered African Americans to be hardly human beings, much less persons worthy of civil rights. Also, the radicals knew that Southerners, many of whom had advocated secession and brought about the war, would probably help elect a Democratic majority in Congress, which would defeat the radical program.

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Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment II

Lead: Andrew Johnson remains the only American President tried by the Senate after impeachment. His troubles may have been due to who he was and from where he came. 

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

Content: Born in North Carolina, as a teenager Andrew Johnson moved across the mountains to Greenville, Tennessee and there established a successful tailoring business and a career in politics. He was elected a U.S. Senator in 1857. Johnson was a product of the powerful historic divisions in Tennessee politics. It is a long way from the scrabble farms near Johnson City in the east Tennessee Appalachian foothills to the plantations around Memphis overlooking the Mississippi River. For years the slave-owning planters in the west had dominated Tennessee politics. In the east farms were smaller, slaves were fewer, and the planter class was bitterly resented. When the west led the state into the Confederacy, eastern Tennesseans remained largely loyal to the Union. Andrew Johnson, faithful to his eastern Tennessee roots, was the only Southern senator to remain in Washington after 1861. 

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Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment I

Lead: Andrew Johnson's loyalty to the Union during the Civil War landed him in the White House but Abraham Lincoln he was not.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Andrew Johnson stayed in Washington after 1861 and then ran as a Democrat with Republican Abraham Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket in 1864. They won, but shortly thereafter the President was assassinated.

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Matthew Brady I

 Lead: Matthew Brady made good on his vow to photograph many of the famous people of his generation.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Brady learned the technique of photography from Samuel F. B. Morse, artist and inventor of the telegraph. At first he used a process perfected in 1837 in France by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. Over the next few decades, the daguerreotype was gradually replaced by the collodion wet-plate process which was more efficient.

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Matthew Brady II

Lead: During the Civil War the images of Matthew Brady and his associates lent vivid reality to the horror of conflict.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having made his reputation photographing notable figures in the prewar generation, when conflict broke out in 1861, Matthew Brady went to war. Determined to make a complete record of the war, he hired more than a dozen photographers and sent them out as field operatives to mark the passage of the fighting. They used the collodion "wet-plate" process which fixed the image on a thick glass negative. This method required the subject to pose for only a brief period, but still could not capture action or physical movement.

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