Alexander Graham Bell’s 128-Year-Old Audio Recording
It is hard to imagine life without a telephone, let alone instant access to the world wide web. Each day our lives are affected by the invention of this technology which can date back to the late 1800s. Alexander Graham Bell, born on March 3rd, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland where he grew up around a wealth of rich culture, arts and science, invented the first telephone at age 29.
The invention of the telephone was an instant hit back in the 1800s and has lasted over a century and counting. Bell developed his invention after years of gathering information from being an educator and experimenter of sound and also from continuing his father’s work on Visible Speech for the Deaf. Working with Tomas Watson, they created the first patent and design on a practical telephone and the rest is history.
Today, 128 years later, Smithsonian researchers have recovered the audible voice of Alexander Graham Bell. A wax-and-cardboard disc, dating back to April 15, 1885, was recovered and using optical technology, researcher’s were able to recreate the sounds.
Listen to the voice of Alexander Graham Bell:
“In witness whereof — hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.”
In addition to the history of telephones, more recently is the history of cellphones. The cellphone invention just turned 40 on April 3rd and its inventor was Martin Cooper at age 84. Back in 1973 in New York City, Cooper phoned his research rival at Bell Labs, Joel Engel.
The phone was literally a bricking weigh in at 2.5 pounds, compared to today’s IPhone weighing 3.95 ounces, the costs were pricey ranging from $4,000 t0 $8,000 by today’s standards and the Motorola Dynatac’s battery life only lasted 20 minutes. But you cannot deny that the concept of a cellphone is timeless.
“People want to talk to other people- not a house, or an office, or a car. Given a choice, people will demand the freedom to communicate wherever they are, unfettered by the infamous copper wire. It is that freedom we sought to vividly demonstrate in 1973.” Martin Cooper
Three Cheers to the invention of the telephone and cell phone! Where would we be today without them?