Voice Recording of Alexander Graham Bell Discovered, But What Did He Say?

Pictures of yesteryear have been cropping up recently due to technological advancements and increased sharing capabilities, but the voices of historic figures are far more rare. So when a voice recording of Alexander Graham Bell was found, headlines were made. But what did he say?

“Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell,” the inventor of the telephone said, rather aptly. The Smithsonian Institution announced Wednesday they have identified a wax disc recording of Bells voice from 1885 in his Volta laboratory in Washington, DC. “Identifying the voice of Alexander Graham Bell, the man who brought us everyone else’s voice, is a major moment in the study of history,” said John Gray, director of the Smithsonian’s American history museum. “It enriches what we know about the late 1800s – who spoke, what they said and how they said it.” Reading about it is one thing, but you want to hear it, don’t you? Well here it is: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multimedia/audio/204505151.html

The process started with discs that were thought too fragile to play. But a new system – using 3D cameras and light – can make the wax discs usable. They’re not going to be playing it all the time, but they can certainly record the recording for posterity. “I think it’s really important that we now have a process, a new invention in the service of invention to get sound off of these virtually unplayable recordings," museum curator Carlene Stephens said.


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