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"AT&T/Bell Labs VODER from World's Fair Exhibits (New York, San Francisco) 1939-1940 era" (SSSHP 51)

Collection Collector:
Maxey, H. David  Search this
Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History  Search this
Container:
Box 26
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0417-ref210

Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project

Collector:
Maxey, H. David  Search this
Creator:
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History  Search this
Inventor:
American Telephone and Telegraph Company  Search this
Bell Telephone Laboratories  Search this
International Business Machines Corporation  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Klatt, Dennis  Search this
Kurzweil, Ray  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sound recordings
Diskettes
Dictograph
Date:
1939-1999
Summary:
The Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project, conducted by H. David Maxey from 1986 through 2002, created a collection of archival materials documenting the history and development of speech synthesis technology. Maxey collaborated with Dr. Bernard Finn, Elliot Sivowitch and Harold Wallace of the National Museum of American History's Division of Information, Technology, and Society.
Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project Original Website:
Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project website

This website was created by Dave Maxey in 2002 to document the history of the project and to provide extensive information about the collection materials.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents a project done by H. David Maxey in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. The collection consists of administrative files containing correspondence, project reports, and other infomation about the Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project. The project files, arranged geographically and alphabetically contains information about specific speech synthesis projects and inventions. The reprints series consists of reprints of articles which Maxey collected and organized separately. This series is organized both numerically and alphabetically. The audiovisual materials contain the recordings of talks, meetings, and samples of speech synthesis described in the projects outlined in the project files.
Arrangement:
The original SSSHP numbers assigned by Dave Maxey are included in portions of the Container List. They are the basis for the organization of Maxey's original index to and description of the collection. Maxey assigned the numbers sequentially in the order he received each numbered item.

The collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1, Administrative Files,1986-2002

Series 2, Project Files, 1939-1999

Series 3, Reprints, 1939-1999

Series 4: Audiovisual Materials,1939-1999

Subseries 1, ¼" Open Reel Audiotape

Subseries 2, Audiocassettes

Subseries 3, Miscellaneous

Subseries 4, Reference and Protection Audiotapes and CDs
Biographical / Historical:
The Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project, conducted by H. David Maxey from 1986 through 2002, created a collection of archival materials including sound recordings documenting the history and development of speech synthesis technology. Maxey collaborated with Dr. Bernard Finn of the National Museum of American History's Division of Information, Technology, and Society. Elliot Sivowitch and Harold Wallace of the same division served as Smithsonian liaisons with the project.

"Speech synthesis technology" refers to the results of a long, evolutionary process in which researchers learned to create artificial sounds that people would interpret as speech. As early as the eighteenth century scientists were inventing mechanical machines to create sounds similar to human speech. Later electronics led to additional developments, The Voder was one of the earliest examples which was demonstrated to wide acclaim at the 1939 New York World's Fair. However, it was the widespread use of computers that led to the greatest progress in the field of speech synthesis.

Speech synthesis is the process by which a computer speaks. By contrast, speech recognition is when a computer can interpret spoken language. The application of both of these capabilities has been important for creating assistive computer technology for the visually impaired (speech recognition) and for individuals unable to speak (speech synthesis).

Among the leading researchers and organizations involved with the development of speech synthesis technologies are the Anerican Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), Bell Telephone Laboratories, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dennis H. Klatt, and Ray Kurzweil.

Today speech synthesis is a common feature of daily life from the cultured voice on the GPS saying exactly which road to take to making a train reservation on the telephone. However, many speech synthesis developers continue to explore and design methods to make the speech sound less mechanical, with the ultimate challenge being natural sounding speech that shows emotion.

Dave Maxey's dedication to the project, with support from members of the staff of the National Museum of American History, has ensured the preservation of materials documenting the early history of electronic and computer engineered synthetic speech.
Related Materials:
Artifacts related to this collection are in the Division of Work & Industry, Electricity Collections.
Provenance:
The collection was created for the Smithsonian Institution from 1986-2002 by Dave Maxey in collaboration with Dr. Bernard Finn of the National Museum of American History's Division of Information, Technology, and Society, assisted by Elliot Sivowitch and Harold Wallace of the same division.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Computer sound processing  Search this
Voder  Search this
Speech synthesis  Search this
Speech  Search this
Computers  Search this
Assistive computer technology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Diskettes
Dictograph
Citation:
Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0417
See more items in:
Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0417

Handwritten diary

Collection Creator:
Craton, Forman H., 1902-1983  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 4-5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Forman H. Craton Collection, 1902-1983, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Forman H. Craton Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0454-ref263
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  • View Handwritten diary digital asset number 1

Communications and Business Zone

Collection Collector:
Orth, Edward J.  Search this
Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939 - 1965
Scope and Contents:
includes material created by major American companies relating to technology for the home and the workplace. These companies used the fair as an opportunity to display state of the art products to the public. There is material relating to International Business Machines Corporation's (IBM) pavilion featuring electric typewriters and a machine called the "electric calculator" which used punched cards. Information about its fine art gallery displaying hundreds of pieces of artwork from seventy countries around the world is also included. Materials from American Telephone and Telegraph's (AT&T) pavilion featuring the Voder, a mechanized, synthetic voice can also be found among these materials. The Voder spoke to attendees at the fair and foretold the future widespread use of electronic voices. In addition, there are materials from other companies including Bank of America, Bates Manufacturing, Bell Telephone, Crosley Radio Corporation, Dun & Bradstreet, International Business Machines Corporation, Keystone Manufacturing Company, Loyalty Group Insurance, MacFadden Metropolitan Life Insurance, New York Life Insurance Company, Nos-Ease Company, Radio Corporation of America (RCA), Western Union Telegraph Company and York Safe and Lock Company. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the exhibitor. There is one folder of general materials about the amusement area.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Viewing film portion of collection requires special appointment, please inquire. Do not use when original materials are available on reference video or audio tapes.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Edward J. Orth Memorial Archives of the New York World's Fair, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0560, Subseries 3.3
See more items in:
Edward J. Orth Memorial Archives of the World's Fair
Edward J. Orth Memorial Archives of the World's Fair / Series 3: New York World's Fair 1939 and 1940 Incorporated Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0560-ref279

Fokker Dr.I Triplane (F.I), Red Baron's Aircraft; Richthofen, Manfred von "Red Baron". [photograph]

Photographer:
Unknown  Search this
Type:
Glass negatives
Date:
Circa 1914-1918
Topic:
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Local number:
NASM-9A08495
Restrictions & Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at http://airandspace.si.edu/permissions
See more items in:
Videodisc Imagery Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_365257

Meet Pedro the “Voder,” the First Electronic Machine to Talk

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Conversations and talks
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 05 Jun 2017 12:00:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_2eed4dded96afa2672f46dd0cea2175b

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