Thomas Edison in his lab in 1888, after working long hours on his phonograph (U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site)
The world's first recorded blooper, featured on a historic recording made on an early phonograph in 1878, has been ‘untangled’ thanks to digital technology that allowed the audio to be transferred from the original tinfoil to a computer.
It is now possible to listen to what experts believe is the oldest playable recording of an American voice, and the first capture of a musical performance which lasts nearly a minute and a half.
Edison's tinfoil playback reportedly opens a key window into the development of recorded sound, AP reported.
"In the history of recorded sound that's still playable, this is about as far back as we can go," a trustee at the Museum of Innovation and Science, John Schneiter, is quoted as saying.
The recording opens with a 23-second cornet solo of an unidentified song, followed by a man's voice reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Old Mother Hubbard" nursery rhymes. The man laughs at two spots during the recording, and reciting the wrong words in the second nursery rhyme, he exclaims: "Look at me; I don't know the song."
The recording was made on a tiny sheet of tinfoil placed on the cylinder of the phonograph that Edison invented in 1877. Only a handful of the tinfoil recording sheets are known to survive, and of those only two have stood the test of time and are still playable.
The Edison tinfoil recording was brought to researchers at California's Berkeley Lab, who managed to restore several early audio recordings in recent years.
Carl Haber and his team used optical scanning technology to replicate the action of the phonograph's stylus, reading the grooves in the foil and creating a 3D image, which was analyzed by a computer program that recovered the original recorded sound.
The researchers have been credited with restoring the key link in the evolution of recorded sound. "It really completes a technology story," Haber said. "He [Thomas Edison] was on the right track from the get-go to record and play it back," Haber added.
Now I wish there was actually sound for us to hear.
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Ooops! they did it again: First blooper recorded 134years ago. Now restored
Last edited by claud3; 10-26-2012 at 16:48.Plato and Aristotle, a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth, representing his belief in knowledge
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