Early Sound Recordings From Alexander Graham Bell Recovered, Played Again | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Early Sound Recordings From Alexander Graham Bell Recovered, Played Again

Sound recordings that hadn't been heard since they were first made by Alexander Graham Bell and others in the 1880s were played publicly Tuesday at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The sounds captured in the collection include recited verse, human sounds and basic factual information such as the date.

The recordings — long stored at the Smithsonian Institution — were made on cylinders and discs of varying design. The Library of Congress teamed up with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to decode the recordings. The AP describes the process:

"Many recordings are fragile, and until recently it had not been possible to listen to them without damaging the discs or cylinders, the news release said. So far, six discs have been successfully submitted to the sound recovery process, which creates a high-resolution digital map of the disc or cylinder. The map is processed to remove scratches and skips, and software reproduces the audio content and produces a standard digital sound file."

More detailed information on how the maps are made can be found on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's website. You can actually listen to some of the recovered sound on another page at the same site.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Magic Mike XXL' And 'Terminator Genisys' Bring The Testosterone

NPR's Bob Mondello looks at the Independence Day weekend blockbusters, Magic Mike XXL and Terminator Genisys.
NPR

Obama Weighs In: No Peas In Guacamole

The online debate began after The New York Times published a guacamole recipe that includes fresh peas.
NPR

BP To Pay $18.7 Billion To Settle Gulf Coast Oil Spill Claims

The agreement with the U.S. government, five Gulf Coast states and more than 400 local governments comes five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill.
NPR

Somebody Is Cutting Internet Cables In California

There have been at least 11 attacks in the San Francisco Bay Area in the past year, according to the FBI. The most recent occurred Tuesday and disrupted service as far north as Seattle.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.