The oldest surviving tinfoil recording dating back to 1878 was scanned and converted to a digital audio.
The modern masses can now listen to what experts say is the oldest playable recording of an American voice and the first-ever capturing of a musical performance, thanks to digital advances that allowed the sound to be transferred from flimsy tinfoil to computer.
At a time when music lovers can carry thousands of digital songs on a player the size of a pack of gum, Edison’s tinfoil playback seems prehistoric. But that dinosaur opens a key window into the development of recorded sound.
“In the history of recorded sound that’s still playable, this is about as far back as we can go,” said John Schneiter, a trustee at the Museum of Innovation and Science, where it will be played Thursday night in the city where Edison helped found the General Electric Co.
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