As an introduction to this program, let’s make one thing clear. Ted Case’s Thalofide Cell and eventual Movietone system are not the absolute first ever sound film system. From the early 1910’s to the time the Case Lab began developing the Cell in the early 20’s, a number of different systems were developed as a means of playing sound at the same time as a film strip. One of the best known competing systems, Vitaphone, implemented a sound-on-disc system to play a record at the same time as a film. We will take a deeper look at this system during a later program, but it should be noted that what Ted Case’s invention brought to the world was the first commercially successful process of synchronized sound film.
To kick off the program, let’s introduce our “Cast of Characters.” You can reference this convenient list of recurring historical figures throughout the year as we add on to the timeline of events! The figures are ordered based on the number of times they will be mentioned throughout the program.