MENU

Alexander Graham Bell recordings played from 1880s

December 14, 2011 • National News


Alexander Graham Bell’s Graphaphone 1881 is displayed during a news conference at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, Tuesday Dec. 13, 2011. Early sound recordings by telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell and others that had been packed way at the Smithsonian Institution for more than a century were played publicly for the first time Tuesday using new technology. The recordings revealed a portion of Hamlet’s Soliloquy, a trill of the tongue and someone reciting numbers starting with 1-2-3. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alexander Graham Bell foresaw many things, including that people could someday talk over a telephone. Yet the inventor certainly never could have anticipated that his audio-recording experiments in a Washington, D.C., lab could be recovered 130 years later and played for a gathering of scientists, curators and journalists.

“To be or not to be…” a man’s voice can be heard saying in one recording as it was played on a computer at the Library of Congress on Tuesday. The speaker from the 1880s recites a portion of Hamlet’s Soliloquy as a green wax disc crackles to life from computer speakers.

The early audio recordings — which revealed recitations of Shakespeare, numbers and other familiar lines — had been packed away and deemed obsolete at the Smithsonian Institution for more than a century. But new technology has allowed them to be recovered and played.

The technology reads the sound from tiny grooves with light and a 3D camera.

The recordings Login to read more

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

« »