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Catalog Data

Physical Description:
fiberboard (overall material)
metal, foil (overall material)
plaster (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 9 3/4 in; 24.765 cm
Object Name:
experimental sound recording
Description:
This is an experimental sound recording made in the Volta Laboratory, Washington, D.C. In a ring around the center, it is marked with the initials for Sumner Tainter, one of the Volta Laboratory Associates, and a date: “S.T. Dec. 29th 1881.” This recording was copied from an 1881 master at an unknown later date.
Sound was recovered from this recording in 2013.
Content transcript: “…[indistinct] I am a magnetical graphophone. What are you? To be, or not to be: that is the question. [trilled r sounds] How is that for high?”
References:
<a href="http://www.phonozoic.net/griffonage/pdfs/volta-discography.pdf">Patrick Feaster, “A Discography of Volta Laboratory Recordings at the National Museum of American History” </a>
Leslie J. Newville, “Development of the Phonograph at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory,” in Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology, United States National Museum Bulletin 218, Paper 5 (1959): 69-79.
Location:
Currently not on view
Credit Line:
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell
ID Number:
ME.287860.02
Accession number:
58498
Catalog number:
287860
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Hear My Voice
Communications
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_852882