Thursday, February 9, 2012

Otto von Bismark's voice

It seems that it was recorded.  It was lost, but it seems that it's been found again:
Tucked away for decades in a cabinet in Thomas Edison’s laboratory, just behind the cot in which the great inventor napped, a trove of wax cylinder phonograph records has been brought back to life after more than a century of silence.

Thomas Edison, seated center, sent Adelbert Theodor Edward Wangemann, standing behind him, to France in 1889. From there Wangemann traveled to Germany to record recitations and performances.

Adelbert Theodor Edward Wangemann used a phonograph to record the voice of Otto von Bismarck.
The cylinders, from 1889 and 1890, include the only known recording of the voice of the powerful chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Two preserve the voice of Helmuth von Moltke, a venerable German military strategist, reciting lines from Shakespeare and from Goethe’s “Faust” into a phonograph horn. (Moltke was 89 when he made the recordings — the only ones known to survive from someone born as early as 1800.) Other records found in the collection hold musical treasures — lieder and rhapsodies performed by German and Hungarian singers and pianists at the apex of the Romantic era, including what is thought to be the first recording of a work by Chopin.
 No MP3 (yet), but I would love to listen to that.


North said...


A Bismark is a pastry.

Robert McDonald said...

That's enough to make one consider learning German.

Guffaw in AZ said...

"Was Bismarck a herring?" - Lily von Schtup

NotClauswitz said...


SiGraybeard said...

Yeah, but did you see how he said, "The new data does not mean that concerns about climate change are overblown in any way..."

Gotta keep that fear up and keep those grants coming!

SiGraybeard said...

Wrong thread, obviously - this was for the Glacier article.

Aaron said...

Graybeard, you may be onto something.

After all, any more global warming and the wax cylinders could melt, which would be bad as wed lose such history in a puddle of wax.

Save the wax cylinders!, Do it for the children!, Stop global warming, something like that.

As an aside I'm pretty sure the Germans of the day would have preferred a recording of Schlieffen ("Keep the right strong") rather than von Moltke who tinkered the plan into a stalemate and a loss.

wv: cookm - I kid you not, even Google wants the cylinders to melt.