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Bell at the opening of the long distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892.  Image and caption from Wikipedia.

Bell at the opening of the long distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892. Image and caption from Wikipedia.

I saw a post about this on HelloGiggles, and I had to re-post it.  The Smithsonian has a large collection of original experimental recordings from Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta Lab. The discs are in poor condition now and are un-play-able, but historians have imaged them with a 3-D camera and have been able to digitize the recordings.  That means we can now listen to these recordings – the very earliest sound recordings ever made.  We can hear Alexander Graham Bell experimenting with voice recording.  The disc played in this video clip even allows us to hear someone’s disappointed reaction when something clearly didn’t go as planned.  View the clip here, it’s definitely worth a watch.

Through our own research, the Vicky A’s have come across a transcript of the first message sent to Chicago from New York at the opening of the first long distance line in 1892.  The transcript contains only the New York side of the conversation and is reproduced below.

NY:  Hello?  Hello.  This is Alexander Bell.  Can you hear me?

NY:  Wonderful!  Hey, we expect to be here in the lab pretty late tonight, so can we get an extra large deep dish pizza?

NY:  Yeah, sure, I love mushrooms.  <Pause>  Hold on, let me ask the guys.

<inaudible>

NY:  Hey, can we get half and half, mushrooms and pepperoni?  Chichester is being a baby and doesn’t want mushrooms.

NY:  Great, we’ll see you then.

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