Baltimore Sun, April 2, 1913, page 3:
MAKES PICTURES TALK
Geroge R. Webb's "Magnaphone" Wins Test In New York.
THEATRICAL MEN PRAISE IT
Invention Is Result of Ten Years' Study By Organizer Of Maryland Telephone Company.
An audience of 600 invited guests in the "Aerial Theatre," above the New Amsterdam Theatre, in New York, marveled at a demonstration of talking motion pictures produced by a Baltimorean--George R. Webb.
Among those who watched attentively and with undisguised interest were Marc Klaw, A. L. Erlanger, Patrick Casey, Marcus Loew, W. B. Franklin and other theatre magnates and a number of Baltimore friends of Mr. Webb.
The second number on the program was a comic operetta sketch, the scene of which was laid in England. The audience was unstinting in its applause.
The third feature, though, seemed to accomplish the feat of making the spector-auditors forget that they were not, in fact, witnessing the entertainment of a performer in the flesh. An unusually pretty opera singer rendered a selection from Pagliacci and people in the audience forgot to wonder at the perfection of the device which caused her clear notes to burst forth in precise accord with her facial expression and commented on the excellence with which she rendered the part. No higher compliment could have been paid to Mr. Webb's invention.
The audience had forgotten the mechanism. Aside from perfect synchronism of picture movement and voice inflection, all metallic, phonographic sound had been obviated and the notes were as clear and distinct as if the actress had been behind the scenes.
Differs From Phonograph.
Many were present who had heard the phonograph-moving pictures recently introduced on the vaudeville stage and all agreed there is no comparison between the two. The chief point of difference is that the "magnaphone," as Mr. Webb's instrument is called, and the moving-picture machine are operated by the same man and run by the same motor, from the same point, the mechanical connection preventing the one from getting a fraction of a second ahead of the other, while in most of the graphophone pictures heretofore tried two operators are necessary, one at the moving- picture machine and one on the stage with the graphophone. Thus synchronism must depend on the skill of the operators.
Result Of Ten Years' Study.
The "magnaphone" motion pictures are the result of 10 years' study of scientific transmission of sound by electricity on the part of Mr. Webb. Most of his experiments have been made in Baltimore, either at his home at Garrison and Belle Avenues, Arlington, or in the Hoen Building, where he has his manufacturing plant. He was one of the organizers of the Maryland Telephone Company and of the Wilmington Telephone Company, Delaware, and his original researches were made with a view to improving the telephone.
Instruments similar to the sound-producing part of the device used have for seven years been used in the Grand Central depot in this city and in Union Station, Washington, to announce the departure of trains.
Among the Baltimoreans in the audience were Harry W. Webb, George R. Webb's brother; Theophyius White, William Tepper Constable, Harry M. Cosh, and Dr. Charles G. Hill.