Second-oldest tinfoil recording to be heard tonight at Proctors

Thursday, October 25, 2012
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— This evening at the GE Theatre at Proctors, miSci (Schenectady Museum) will reveal the recording from its 1878 Edison Tinfoil – the second-oldest documented Thomas Edison tinfoil recording, the oldest playable American voice and the first ever recording of a musical performance.

The audio's unveiling will begin at 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Attendees will learn the background of the object (it was recorded in St. Louis), how it fits into miSci’s collections, what its significance is in the timeline of larger technological innovations. Also revealed will be the owner of the voice.

The presentation will also tell why the recordings couldn’t be recovered, or heard, until now. Technological innovations had to be made to read the tin foil. A special software programming called PRISM was developed.

Where the tinfoil fits in the spectrum of surviving recordings throughout the world will also be explained.

More about the tinfoil

To learn more about the recording, view a March 2011 Gazette story by clicking HERE.

Dr. Carl Haber, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.) National Laboratory, Physics Division, will be on hand.

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