Emile Berliner Invented the Microphone at 812 6th Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
In 1877, Emile Berliner (1851-1929) had been in America since his immigration in 1870, was clerking in the 700-800 block of G Street, NW, and was renting a room from Mrs. Susan Gangewer, the window of J.D. Gangewer, at 812 6th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Repurposing the single room as both bedroom and laboratory, it was here that Berliner invented the telephone transmitter and, more importantly, the microphone. Along with numerous others in search of landmarks, Berliner returned to the room several times in his later years. Apparently, around 1916, he made a visit to the place where he procured the card of Mrs. Ida S. Maull, who’s card is shown above. He pasted this card into the front page of his scrapbook and wrote the following: “my house in 1877,” leaving out the part about the invention. After having done a large amount of research on Berliner, we were touched to see this card among his personal possessions. Like his landlord, the widow Gangewer, Mrs. Maull was also a widow. Letting rooms was common during this period especially for a widow. The only thing uncommon was having a tenant like Emile Berliner.
On the site of this epoch-invention is now a building so grotesque that we dare not even show you a photograph–the Wah Luck House.