Cros, Hortensius Emile Charles

Cros, Hortensius Emile Charles
b. 1 October 1842 Fabrezan (Aude), France
d. 9 August 1888 Paris, France
French inventor of chromolithography and the principles of reproducible sound recording.
He received no formal education, but was brought up by his father, a distinguished teacher and philosopher. He dabbled in diverse subjects (modern and ancient languages, mathematics, drawing) in 1856–60 when he became an instructor at the institute of the Deaf-Mute at Paris. He became a prolific inventor and poet and took part in artistic life in Paris. In the 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Cros contributed a facsimile telegraph; he deposited with the Académie des Sciences a sealed text on photography which was not opened until 1876. In the meantime he published a small text on a general solution of the problem of colour photography which appeared almost simultaneously with a similar publication by Louis Ducos du Hauron and which gave rise to bitter discussions over priority. He deposited a sealed paper on 18 April 1877 concerning his concept of apparatus for recording and reproduction of sound which he called the paléophone. When it was opened on 3 December 1877 it was not known that T.A. Edison was already active in this field: Cros is considered the conceptual founder of reproducible sound, whereas Edison was the first "to reduce to practice", which is one of the US criteria for patentability.
French patent no. 124, 213 (filed 1 May and 2 August 1878).
Further Reading
Louis Forestier, 1969, Charles Cros: L'Homme et l'oeuvre, Paris: Seghers.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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