Thomas Edison Was Not the First One in Sound Recording

The first (as far as I know) who recorded a sound, is a French.

A group of researchers has succeeded in playing a sound recording of a human voice made in 1860 – 17 years before Thomas Edison invented the phonograph.

Roughly ten seconds in length, the recording is of a person singing “Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit” – a snippet from a French folksong.

It was made on April 9, 1860 by Parisian inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville on his “phonautograph” – a device that scratched sound waves onto a sheet of paper blackened by the smoke of an oil lamp.

Scott never dreamed of playing back his recordings. But this morning, the dream Scott never had will come true.

A cadre of audio historians, recording engineers, and scientists working in conjunction with the First Sounds initiative has transformed Scott’s smoked-paper tracings into sound.

They will premiere Au Clair de la Lune at the annual conference of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections at Stanford University this morning.

Examples of sounds evoked from French and American phon-autograph recordings made between 1857 and 1878 will also be played publicly for the first time.

Here, a Scott’s 1857 drawing of a phonautographic recording session, included in his patent paperwork preserved at the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI), the French patent office:

Here, the Scott’s 1859 drawing of his phonautograph, included in his patent paperwork preserved at the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI), the French patent office:

Here is the 1859 model of Scott’s phonautograph. Source: Franz Josef Pisko, Die neuere Apparate der Akustik (Vienna, 1865):

Do you want to have a look of the support after recording? Here is a detail of an 1859 phonautogram made by Scott and included in his patent paperwork, preserved at the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI), the French patent office.

                                                      

If you want to know more about the team who made this dream to come true, go HERE.

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One Response

  1. […] verify it, I tested the text of my previous post and here are the […]

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