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Mapping the Théâtrophone in Paris

Based on physical maps and handwritten lists produced by the Société du Théâtrophone in the early 1890s (and now preserved in the Archives Nationales, Paris, France), the interactive maps found in this section of the site provide important information—previously available only in archives—about where Parisians might have encountered the théâtrophone. 

The first map, titled "An Early Map of the Parisian Théâtrophone Network, c. 1891-92," reproduces the transmission and reception points marked on a physical map dating back to the Société du Théâtrophone's earliest days (AJ/13/1189, Archives Nationales, Paris, France). Indeed, the points marked on this map may have been projections on the part of the Société du Théâtrophone's management, plotted on a map in the hopes of garnering support from important artistic venues—and possible transmission sites—such as the Paris Opéra.

The second map, titled "Public Subscribers to the Société du Théâtrophone's Service, c. 1892," maps a large number of hotels, restaurants, bars, and other public and semi-public spaces that appear to have subscribed to the Société du Théâtrophone's service, likely around 1892. Based on a handwritten (and hand-corrected) list of subscribing locations (AJ/13/1189, Archives Nationales, Paris, France), this list is far more extensive than the map, suggesting that it may reflect actual—rather than projected—subscribers.