Patrick Feaster at work on the recordings (Photo: Carlene Stephens/National Museum of American History)
Charles Sumner Tainter's sketches of the recording equipment that pressed the October 1881 wax originals (Photo: Patrick Feaster/National Museum of American History)
Copper negative of an October 1881 phonograph (Photo: Patrick Feaster/National Museum of American History)
Recently, and for the first time in living memory, sound recordings made in 1881 at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory Association have been heard aloud. The experimental phonographs made by the association where Bell worked alongside instrument-maker Charles Sumner Tainter and chemist Chichester A. Bell are thought to be the oldest preserved sound recordings intended for playback.
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