Technoarchaeology: Restoring 134 Year Old Audio Recordings


Researchers successfully restore 134 year-old audio recording, The Verge
Researchers at California’s Berkeley Lab have restored one of the oldest known audio recordings, a 78 second tinfoil recording from 1878. It was one of the first recordings made on Thomas Edison’s newly invented phonograph, which is composed of a cylinder covered in a small sheet of tinfoil that recorded sound on the foil’s surface using a stylus. However, the stylus tears the tinfoil after just a few replays. To recreate the sound and preserve the artifact, researchers scanned it and created a 3D model, which was then used to replicate the original recording.”
Soundtrack to History: 1878 Edison Audio Unveiled, ABC
“Haber and his team used optical scanning technology to replicate the action of the phonograph’s stylus, reading the grooves in the foil and creating a 3D image, which was then analyzed by a computer program that recovered the original recorded sound.”
The History of the Edison Cylinder Phonograph

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