Thaddeus Cahill

Thaddeus Cahill ( born June 18, 1867 in Iowa, † April 12, 1934 in Manhattan, New York) was an American inventor and businessman. He gained the greatest notoriety for a 1897 in Washington, DC patented, almost 200 tons of heavy organ machine. This invention, known as Telharmonium or Dynamophon, 1906 demonstrated for the first time to a wider audience. The first electric typewriter goes back to Cahill, as is the idea of ​​the background music in public places, the term Muzak was coined for later.


Thaddeus Cahill was born in a small town in Iowa and grew up in Oberlin ( Ohio). A school he attended until the age of 16 years. He studied law at the Columbian University, but never worked as a lawyer. He founded several companies to market the Dynamophons, but could be so economically not enforce what was due in part to legal problems with the favored of his music transfer over the phone. Later he teamed up with his two brothers, another company, which specialized in the manufacture of floodlights for football stadiums. Inventor of this technology was to be two years younger brother George Cahill. Thaddeus Cahill died in 1934 in New York.

Cahill as a businessman

Over time, Cahill's interest of music production shifted to music marketing. Since at that time no electrical amplification was still possible music was partially transferred over the phone. This idea has evolved considerably from Cahill. He founded the New York Electric Music Company, whose aim was to initiate music transmissions over the phone for a large audience, in which fees were billed for each listener individually. He can be considered as one of the pioneers of the economic use of cable networks. The first transfers should primarily serve to attract investors, which initially also succeeded because their lot was much public attention. 1906 Cahill had 900 company members. Ultimately, however, his concept did not prevail. After his transfer had several times the telephone network of New York City overloaded because of their great signal strength and led to the interruption of important calls him a continuation was not possible. Also on the sound character of his Dynamophons the audience lost interest quickly.