The Phonofilm or DeForest Phonofilm is a sound recording process invented in 1919 by Lee De Forest . In 1927, producer Pat Powers copied the system and named it Cinephone or Powers Cinephone .


Creation of the Phonofilm process

De Forest uses Theodore Case’s patents

Pat Powers duplicates the process

In the spring of 1927 , producer Pat Powers invested in what remains of the sound film company DeForest Phonofilm. Its founder, Lee De Forest, was on the verge of bankruptcy because of the fines he had to pay following a series of lawsuits against his former partners Theodore Case and Freeman Harrison Owens . De Forest was then a seller of cheap sound equipment for rehearsal theaters that wanted to convert to sound movie for cheap.

In June 1927, Powers failed in an attempt to take control of De Forest. He then decided to hire a former technician from the company, William Garity , to produce a version identical to the Phonofilm recording process, which he christened Powers Cinephone . Lee De Forest’s finances did not allow him to sue Powers for counterfeiting .

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