If you’re one of the people who finds dolls unsettling, you may want to turn back now. If you’ve decided to brave on, the following clip is both fascinating and creepy! In 1890, Thomas Edison created what became the world’s first talking doll. Standing at about 2 feet tall, the doll was essentially a wax cylinder phonograph encased in a metal body, with wooden arms and legs.
While the technology is remarkable, there’s a reason Edison only made about 500 of these talking dolls. The voice recordings weren’t very clear, and were most likely voiced by a factory working trying to imitate a little girl. Because the sound quality was so poor, Edison had the dolls recite familiar nursery rhymes like “Hickory Dickory Dock.”
The dolls flopped on the market, but believe it or not, it wasn’t entirely due to their creepy nature. They were expensive — about $200 in today’s money— and people thought the dolls weren’t lifelike enough; they actually wanted the mouths to move!
Check out the following clip, and see/hear the dolls for yourself.