Voice recording may be world's oldest....and it's not Thomas Edison!

United States
March 28, 2008 8:46am CST
Now we all know that the first recording of a voice was when Thomas Edison began experimenting with the diaphragm of a telephone receiver by attaching a needle to it. He reasoned that the needle could pric* paper tape to record a message. His experiments led him to try a stylus on a tinfoil cylinder, which, to his great surprise, played back the short message he recorded, "Mary had a little lamb" back in the late 1800's. Reaserchers have found a 10-second clip of a woman singing "Au Clair de la Lune," taken from a so-called phonautogram, was recently discovered by audio historian David Giovannoni. The recording predates Thomas Edison's by 17 years. The tune was captured using a phonautograph, a device created by Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville that created visual recordings of sound waves. Using a needle that moved in response to sound, the phonautograph etched sound waves into paper coated with soot from an oil lamp. Stories like this make me wonder what else in our history is not really what we think it was? http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/03/27/france.recording.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview
2 people like this
3 responses
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
28 Mar 08
It is just possible that Edison heard these images of the phonautograms. in 1861 Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville brought them to the United States to prove that he had invented them earlier. Edison may have capitalized on these and and so the phonograph. Edison ran a factory for inventing and had many working under him. I think there is a lot that we were taught about history that is incorrect or incomplete.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Mar 08
I'm finding that there is a real LOT that we were taught incorrectly and totally incomplete. There's probably a book full of them somewhere...
2 people like this
@Daffodil20 (1754)
• India
28 Mar 08
hold on!...its good that researchers predict the possibility of an earlier recording..but i guess its not yet a stated fact. it maybe that the earlier recording was just a matter of chance, no doubt discovered, but not necessarily invented. thomas edison actually made it, in his case it wasn't a matter of chance or a coincidence..so in a way he should still get the credit. a very interesting discussion indeed!
@elmiko (6637)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Thats cool maybe they could find an earlier similar invention again.
• United States
28 Mar 08
As far as the article I believe he is still getting credit for his discovery. Whatever it was that they used to record this womans voice obviously didn't turn out to be anything great or we would have known about it.
1 person likes this
• India
29 Mar 08
oh yes...certainly...actually after reading your discussion i was a little sad cause edison is my inspiration..lol...but then a fact is a fact, n i am happy that this fact still goes in favour of edison.
@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
4 Apr 08
I believe that in real life acidental vocal recording have been found on really old (Like ancient Greek) pots. I would not be amazed if the Greeks, Romans, or Egyptians had a way to record sound and play it back. I know that there was a myth busters show done on this because it was shown on another TV show (I think it was CSI not 100% sure).
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 08
I think I did hear about the sounds that were thought to have come from ancient pots. I'm sure there are a lot of things like that that scientists never found.