In April 1924 Robert B. Irwin, Executive Director of the American Foundation for the Blind and determined advocate for people with vision loss, wrote to George F. Meyer at the Board of Education, Minneapolis, Minnesota, about news of a new patent. The patent was for a phonograph that could contain 15,000 words on the side of a 12" disc that revolved at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute (rpm).
Irwin correctly predicted that not since Louis Braille's invention of raised dots had a new idea been devised that would so greatly impact those with vision loss. Irwin was referring to the long-playing record (LP), an invention of engineer and patent attorney Frank L. Dyer. Dyer's son, John L. Dyer, had approached AFB with his father's patent for the invention. Irwin, realizing the potential in the long-playing record, cultivated a friendship with the senior Dyer. Dyer obtained his "Talking-Machine Record" patent in May 1927. Dyer saw the potential of the Talking Book at a time when commercial recording studios were just beginning to invest in sound recording technology as a result of the burgeoning talking picture industry.