Voice of Alexander Graham Bell heard in 128-year-old recording

April 25, 2013 at 7:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say the voice of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell has been recovered from a recording made 128 years ago.

Several researchers around the country, using a technique developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, retrieved the historic lost audio file -- the first recording of Bell's voice -- from a cardboard and wax disk held by the Smithsonian Institution, The Verge reported Thursday.

Long considered "unplayable" because of its deteriorating condition and primitive technology, Bell's recording of himself counting and saying, "In witness whereof, hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell," was recovered using high-resolution digital images of the surface of the wax disc that were analyzed to rebuild the areas of the recording that were damaged.

The recovered audio, recorded April 15, 1885, is the first record of Bell's voice ever obtained, the researchers said.

"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," John Gray, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History said.

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