Dr. Erpi Finds His Voice:

Produced by Western Electric’s ERPI Division & directed by Lyle Goldman and Max Fleischer in 1929.

In DR. ERPI FINDS HIS VOICE: ELECTRICAL RESEARCH PRODUCTS, INC. AND THE EDUCATIONAL FILM MARKET, 1927–1937, I begin with Finding His Voice (1929) (originally posted on archive.org) in order to tell the story of ERPI, and Western Electric.  In this story from the beginning of the Hollywood sound era, Erpi, and by extension Western Electric and the Bell Company failed in their efforts to take over Hollywood through proprietary control of sound technologies.  This failed effort led directly to the very first FCC ordered federal divestiture by Western Electric and the Bell Company.  This story is published as a chapter in the awesome collection, “Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States, Edited by Devin Orgeron, Marsha Orgeron, and Dan Streible (nominated best edited collection, 2012 by the Society of Cinema Studies).


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s