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.No MP3 (yet), but I would love to listen to that.
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.
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.
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: