Graham Bell`s voice heard for 1st time in 128 yrs
Washington: Hear my voice, I`m Graham Bell!
Telephone pioneer Alexander Graham Bell`s voice has been identified for the first time on a wax disc recording from 1885, researchers claim.
Bell`s voice was recorded on to the disc on April 15, 1885 at his Volta laboratory in Washington.
On the wax-disc recording, the inventor of the telephone says: "Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell."
The inventions of Bell - most famously the telephone but also methods of recording sound - have allowed people to hear each other`s voices for more than 130 years.
Until now, no one knew what the inventor himself sounded like.
The Smithsonian`s National Museum of American History, through a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has identified Bell`s voice for the first time.
In the museum`s collection from Bell`s Washington, Volta laboratory, which includes 200 of the earliest audio recordings ever made, was a loose piece of paper discovered by researchers to be a transcript of a recording.
The transcript, signed and dated by Bell and ending with "in witness whereof, hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell," was matched with a recently identified wax-on-binder-board disc that carries the initials "AGB" and the same date April 15, 1885.
The disc was submitted to the noninvasive optical sound recovery process on Library of Congress equipment developed by the Berkeley Lab, allowing for the contents of the recording to be audibly matched to the transcript and for the positive identification of Bell`s voice.
"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," said John Gray, director of the museum.
"Not only will this discovery allow us to further identify recordings in our collection, it enriches what we know about the late 1800s who spoke, what they said, how they said it and this formative period for experimentation in sound," Gray said.
Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, UK, and died in 1922.
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