IN 1860, a human voice was recorded for the first time, but the recording could not be played back until 2008.

Dalia

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The phonautograph, patented in 1857, is the first known technology capable of recording sound. The device could transcribe sound waves but not play it back.

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A precursor to Thomas Edison’s phonograph, the phonautograph was invented by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville and patented on 25th March 1857. The technology was capable of transcribing sound waves as deviations and undulations. The captured data would then appear as a line on smoke-blackened glass or paper. It was originally designed as a laboratory instrument that could be used for studying acoustics.
Scott’s invention of the phonautograph was inspired by the daguerreotype and the anatomy of the human ear.

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The phonautograph recordings were finally turned into audio in 2008, almost 150 years after they were first recorded.

 

fncceo

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The phonautograph was not actually a recording device in the way that was the phonograph.

The previous one was more like a transcription device that turned sound vibrations into graphical representation which could be seen.

The phonograph recorded those vibrations onto a wax or thin metal surface where they could be played back by using the same device.
 

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