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George Edward Gouraud
[[Image:File:George E Gouraud Vanity Fair 13 April 1889.jpg|center|200px|border]]Gouraud as caricatured by Ape (Carlo Pellegrini) in Vanity Fair, April 1889
Personal Information
Born: 1841
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Died: February 20, 1912 (aged 70–71)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
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Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Colonel
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
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Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Colonel George Edward Gouraud (1841 - 20 February 1912) was an American Civil War recipient of the Medal of Honor who later became famous for introducing the new Edison Phonograph cylinder audio recording technology to England in 1888.


Gouraud fought for the United States Army during the Civil War, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery as a Captain with the 55th Massachusetts on November 30, 1864.

He later acted as an agent for Thomas Edison in London. As an enthusiast of new electric inventions, he had many such gadgets installed in his house at Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, in South London, which became known as "Little Menlo" after Menlo Park, New Jersey where Edison's company was situated in the United States.

In 1888, Thomas Edison sent his "Perfected" Phonograph to Gouraud in London and on 14 August 1888, Gouraud introduced the phonograph to London in a press conference, including the playing of a piano and cornet recording of Arthur Sullivan's "The Lost Chord", one of the first recordings of music ever made.[1]

A series of parties followed, introducing the phonograph to members of society at "Little Menlo". Sullivan was invited to one of these on 5 October 1888. After dinner, he recorded a speech to be sent to Thomas Edison, saying, in part:

I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at the result of this evening's experiments: astonished at the wonderful power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music may be put on record forever. But all the same I think it is the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced, and I congratulate you with all my heart on this wonderful discovery.[1]

See also[]

  • List of Medal of Honor recipients


  1. 1.0 1.1 Historic Sullivan Recordings, The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive. Access date: 30 June 2007