Electrographic Vote Recorder

Edison's first patent. Permitted a 'yes' or 'no' vote via one of two switches. US congressmen were not interested in the device and the invention was unsuccessful.

vote recorder
Announcement / Release
June 1869
Birth Place
Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America


In Thomas Edison's own words, 'The object of my invention is to produce an apparatus which records and registers in an instant, and with great accuracy the votes of legislative bodies, thus avoiding loss of valuable time consumed in counting and registering the votes and names, as done in the usual manner; and my invention consists in applying an electrographic apparatus in such a manner that each member, by moving a switch to either of two points, representing an affirmative and opposing vote, has his name imprinted, by means of electricity, under the desired head,'on a previously-prepared paper, and at I the same time the number of votes is indicated on a-dial-plate by the operation.

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