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Presidential debates, Edison-style.   Candidate William H. Taft shares his views on monopoly regulation in this 1908 presidential campaign recording.

Unlawful Trusts

Company Edison's National Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 10000
Category Talking
Title Unlawful Trusts
Performed by William H. Taft
Circa November 1908
Announcement "Unlawful Trusts, by William H. Taft.  Edison record."

This recording by William H. Taft was part of a series of records sold by Edison during the 1908 Presidential campaign between Taft and William Jennings Bryan.   See the April 1998 Cylinder of the Month to hear one of Bryan's cylinders.

At the time of this recording, Taft was the Secretary of War under Theodore Roosevelt, and as you will hear, had definite ideas as to at what point a conglomerate became an unhealthy monopoly.   After defeating Bryan in the election, President Taft continued Roosevelt's vigorous "trust-busting" policies.

About two-thirds into the recording you will notice a damaged section, about 2 seconds long, garbling Taft saying, "becomes an unlawful monopoly".   The damage seems to have been caused perhaps by a recording stylus at one time being used (hopefully) accidentally instead of a reproducing stylus.

To hear Unlawful Trusts   —

To hear an excerpt   —  
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