130-Year-Old Sound Recordings

Playback: 130-Year-Old Sounds Revealed article tells that in the early 1880s, three inventors—Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter, collectively making up the Volta Laboratory Associates—brought together their creativity and expertise to record sound. These recordings were made using a variety of methods and materials such as rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass, as the inventors tried to find a material that would hold sound. In 2011, scholars from three institution came together in a newly designed preservation laboratory at the Library of Congress to recover sound from those recordings made more than 100 years ago. Recovering sound from the six Volta discs is the first step in an ongoing project, and now you can hear the captured recordings on-line.


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