Invention of the Electric Guitar

Krieg, Dr. Martin – editor. Elektrotechnisches Echo. Illustriertes Fachorgan für die gesamten wissenschaftlichen, technischen und industriellen Interessen der Elektrotechnik. III. Jahrgang. [Electrotechnical Echo. Illustrated trade publication for the entire scientific, technical and industrial interests of electrical engineering. Third year]

Magdeburg: Verlag von Oskar Leiner Leipzig, 1890. 400 by 290mm (15¾ by 11½ inches). Half canvas with marbled boards; [4 — ads], 506 pp. comprising all 52 issues of this weekly publication for the year 1890 bound together. In German.

Heavily illustrated with many hundreds of diagrams and drawings of the latest electrical engineering inventions and applications.

Binding and boards worn; paper browning and small tears to some pages; two pages repaired. Overall good to very good.

On offer are the 1890 issues of this technical publication reporting on electrical engineering inventions and applications around the world. Topics covered include electrical grids; street lighting systems; hydroelectric power; trolley systems; underground electrical railroads (for use in mining); business telephone systems; fire notification systems, etcetera. To paint a picture, 1890 was still the height of technological advancement through electricity: it’s the year electrical subways were first put into use; the year smoke detectors were invented, and this is all around the time of the invention of the incandescent lamp.

All those inventions and applications are fine and good — but the one that will get the most clicks” is the invention of the electrical guitar. The initial patent for the electrical guitar was September 2, 1890, by U.S. Navy officer George Breed (1864–1939), called Method of an apparatus for producing musical sounds by electricity”. This publication reported on the invention in issue 47 (November 17, 1890) with a ½ page article and two illustrations, making this very likely the first reference ever to an electrical guitar in German.

Buy the book for its cool illustrations but keep it on your coffee table to brag to friends about the invention of the electrical guitar.

Objectively rare. At the time of cataloging, no other copies for sale. Per OCLC, no copies in North America (copies from later in the 1890’s are found in the United States. For example, Chicago holds the issues starting with 1896).


In stock

Stock Code: 1066A19 Collections: ,


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