Experimental Sound Recording, Disc Layers of Cardboard, Plaster and Foil

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:
Patrick Feaster, “A Discography of Volta Laboratory Recordings at the National Museum of American History”
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
Object Name
experimental sound recording
Physical Description
fiberboard (overall material)
metal, foil (overall material)
plaster (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 9 3/4 in; 24.765 cm
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, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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