Nineteenth-century French poet, humor writer, and inventor. His poetry collections include Plainte, La Vision du Grand Canal des Deux Mers, and the posthumously-published Le Collier de griffes.
He published poems in Renaissance litteraire et artistique, a journal that also featured the work of Verlaine and Mallarme.
He thought, based on the light emitted from the planets, that life existed on Mars and Venus. He wanted to invent a huge mirror that would allow communication with extraterrestrials; however, the French government refused to fund this project.
He was born Emile-Hortensius-Charles Cros, near Carcassonne, France, and he died at age forty-four in Paris.
He came up with the initial idea for a phonograph. Before he could construct a model, however, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison built the same device (the two men came up with their identical ideas independently).