Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

April 25, 2013

Inventor Bell's voice ID'd on early wax recording

WASHINGTON (AP) — Researchers have identified the voice of Alexander Graham Bell for the first time in some of the earliest audio recordings held at the Smithsonian Institution.

The National Museum of American History announced Wednesday that Bell's voice was identified with help from technicians at the Library of Congress and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The museum holds some of the earliest audio recordings ever made.

Researchers found a transcript of one recording signed by Bell. It was matched to a wax disc recording from April 15, 1885.

"Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell," the inventor said.

The experimental recording also includes a series of numbers. The transcript notes the record was made at Bell's Volta Laboratory in Washington. Other recordings from the time include lines from Shakespeare.

In late 2011, scientists played back some of Bell's earliest recordings for the first time with new technology that reads the sound digitally from tiny grooves in the wax disc using light and a 3D camera. The breakthrough offered a glimpse at the experiments with sound and recording at the dawn of the information age when inventors were scrambling to secure patents for the first telephones and phonographs.

The recordings were packed away for more than 100 years and were deemed obsolete until new technology allowed them to be replayed.

"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, in announcing the find. "It enriches what we know about the late 1800s — who spoke, what they said and how they said it."

The museum also identified the voice of Alexander Melville Bell, the famous inventor's father, in an 1881 recording.

Bell deposited this recording and his recording machine at the Smithsonian in 1881 in case of a patent dispute.

___

1
Text Only
Entertainment
Lifestyles
AP Video
Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Children of Deported Parents Speak Out GOP: Immigration a 'human Rights Issue' Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Raw: Fans Gather for Argentina-Netherlands Match Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Tornadoes Kill Four in Central New York McCaskill: Campus Assault Survey Is Wake Up Call Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Typhoon Nears Japan's Main Islands Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game
BBQ My Way