Today we take talking dolls for granted, but the technology that put the voice in the toys under the Christmas tree this week had to start somewhere. Turns out it started in the very bowels of hell.
Thomas Edison invented talking dolls in 1890 that used miniature phonographs to speak. They didn’t quite take off, and Edison himself called them his ‘little monsters.’ The pictures here don’t give you the full idea of why these are so horrifying; click through to GE Report and listen to a recording made of one of the talking dolls.
The dolls were too cybernetic to be cuddly, and the phonograph worked on a crank, which meant kids had to turn it at just the right speed in order to not make the doll sound like it was spitting Satan’s orders at them. Also, the dolls could cost up to a month’s average pay.
This reminds me of a more recent terrifying doll, Baby Laugh A Lot: