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Napa, California: Birthplace of the Magnavox Loudspeaker

A monument to an audio invention.

First St., Napa, CA
1st street between Main Street and Coombs St.
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Loudspeaker memorial.

Birthplace of the (Magnavox) Loudspeaker

The loudspeaker (Magnavox) was invented in Napa by Edwin Pridham and Peter Jensen in 1915. Today that invention is noted in a small park along 1st Street between Main Street and Coombs St.

The park is open everyday and the speaker can be seen form the street. The bronze sculpture was created by local artist Franco Vianello.

[Phil Pasquini, 10/14/2007]

Another fuzzy timeline of innovation: The "Magnavox" loudspeaker was invented in 1915, and apparently broke new ground for open air sound amplification. But the first loudspeaker claim might be disputed by a German who invented one in 1877, or General Electric scientists, patenting their "dynamic" loudspeaker in 1924 (the first "good" loudspeaker?). Actually, Alexander Graham Bell had a crappy loudspeaker of sorts working before the whole lot of them, in 1876. But Napa solidifies their claim in metal -- and not a bad "hard-of-hearing" photo op for passersby.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Giant Yellow HandGiant Yellow Hand, Napa, CA - 3 mi.
Giant Grape Crusher StatueGiant Grape Crusher Statue, Napa, CA - 4 mi.
Winery Heroes of History HillWinery Heroes of History Hill, Sonoma, CA - 8 mi.
In the region:
Big Skull-Swallowing Bunny, San Francisco, CA - 37 mi.

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