Not sure who he is? He invented a process to put sound on film. Yeah – like, movies with sound. Theo Case was born 12/12/1888 in Auburn, NY, where he lived, worked, and built an enormous wealth. His patents were sold to Fox, and there is no doubt that what we see and hear on screen today was made possible due to Case’s contributions.
Today, the Case Research Lab Museum at Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn is open for tours. There is a book available at theodorecase.com, called “Now We’re Talking”, which is The story of Theodore W. Case and Sound-on-Film. But if you want a real treat, find a way to visit Casowasco – the property on Owasco Lake that was once the Case Family summer estate.
Casowasco was sold (for $1, that’s a story that was always told) to the United Methodist Church Conference in 1946, by Case’s widow, Gertrude. It became a summer camp, and has blossomed into a camp, conference and retreat center. I was a camper there from age 10, and later worked there on the summer staff for 3 summers. Naturally, Gertrude Case ghost stories were commonly told over campfires on the shore just outside of the main home (now called Galilee). Actually, they weren’t always ghost stories. The most common story was that Mrs. Case was alive and well, and was allowed to visit Galilee whenever she wanted–so you better be on the lookout for a little old lady hanging around. Only around a campfire at Casowasco would the thought of little old lady be more frightening than a ghost!
Featured photo, via TheodoreCase.com
Ted Case on the south porch of summer home, via cayuganet.org
Summer Home photo, via campsandretreats.org