Beulah Hill’s ‘Electric House’ and history of recorded sound

The Norwood Society’s next local history meeting next Thursday is “Colonel Gouraud: The man who brought recorded sound to England”.

A Gouraud recording session in 1888. Find out more at next week’s Norwood Society talk

The speaker will be Howard Hope, a lifetime specialist in the history of recorded sound, and he will talk about the Colonel and his Norwood house Little Menlo – otherwise known as “The Electric House” – and all the amazing things that happened there in the decade from 1888 after he arrived from America and bought it.

Little Menlo was a beautiful house on Beulah Hill that fell into neglect and was demolished. Today, it would have been listed and a blue plaque would adorn the walls to celebrate the importance of Gouraud and his pioneering work. This talk is not to be missed and compliments the free exhibition at the British Library – “Listen: 140 years of recorded sound”.

As can be seen in this photograph, of a recording session from December 1888, that conditions were very different from the recording studio of today.

The Gouraud talk is on February 15 from 7.30pm at the Upper Norwood Library, Westow Hill, SE19 1TJ.

The Norwood Society also says, “At our meeting on March 15 we will be launching our next project “myhousemystreet”, a social history study, when Nick Tyson will be introducing a similar successful project in Brighton with pointers into how you can research your house and street.

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