In “Opeener Papers” written during the advent of the phonograph, many aspects of society’s reaction towards such a profound device can be highlighted throughout this text. From the first chapter, we see Mr. Openeer head to a house party where he was welcomed by the sound of not the hostess of the house, but rather the voice of a phonograph. Much to the delight of the party goers, many people found this device quite the entertainment. This written work showcases the many uses of the phonograph during this time period and how society reacted to the many uses for it. These reactions are quite interesting given the tone of the speaker as the paper is filled to the brim with flowery language with the highest esteem praising this newfound device. Given as it was written by the National Phonograph Company, this is not a surprise but has the ability to fool any person that is unaware of this knowledge.
Another use, other than entertainment, for the phonograph is the idea for keepsake of voices for those that have passed away. This is almost revolutionary in the sorts for those that are mourning the death of a loved one. Whereas before the phonograph, most keepsakes of memories of people were hand written documents or belongings. However with the introduction of the phonograph, this adds a layer of almost “realism” to having a deceased loved one speak again. Hearing someone’s voice can be very impactful as it is how humans connect through communication. Having the phonograph reproduce human voices even after death was a very special use for those that have lost loved ones.