From the "simultaneously cool and creepy" file, sit back and listen to the oldest recorded voice known to man — a person singing a snippet of "Au Clair de la Lune" in April 1860. Freaky. The recording was the work of Frenchman Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, who made it on an unlikely device called a phonautograph, which etched lines on lampblack-covered sheets of paper. Curiously, de Martinville meant to invent a visual medium, not an audio one — he wanted to make a visual representation of sound that could later be decoded by sight. You couldn't play it back with a needle now, but scientists figured out how to digitize the sheets of lampblacked paper and simulate playing them like a record. Listen to the result yourself — the singing, possibly by de Martinville's daughter, is damned eerie. I seem to recall that narrative convention requires us to hear unspeakable horrors triggering a SAN check under these circumstances. Anyway, this recording predates Edison's phonograph by 17 years and the previous oldest usable recording (made on a wax cylinder) by 28. Cool.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- FIRE Attacks Northern Michigan University's Shocking, Wanton Rule Against Students Sharing Suicidal Thoughts - September 22nd, 2016
- Kindly Shut The E-Fuck Up - September 14th, 2016
- California: No, You Can't Show That Civil War Painting At A State Fair. It Has a Confederate Flag In It. - September 13th, 2016
- What It's Like For The Client Subjected To A Bogus And Retaliatory Investigation - September 8th, 2016
- Huge First Amendment Win In Federal Criminal Threats Case - September 1st, 2016