The voice of the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, has never been publicly heard until now. The Smithsonian released an audio recording from a wax disc on Wednesday that says, “Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.”
This marks a big step in technology for the Smithsonian, as many discs like this have been considered unsalvageable in the past, reports the Washington Post. The Smithsonian has published a piece about the extraction and identification process, detailing what they were able to discern from the recording of Bell. Charlotte Gray wrote,
“In that ringing declaration, I heard the clear diction of a man whose father, Alexander Melville Bell, had been a renowned elocution teacher (and perhaps the model for the imperious Prof. Henry Higgins, in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion; Shaw acknowledged Bell in his preface to the play). I heard, too, the deliberate enunciation of a devoted husband whose deaf wife, Mabel, was dependent on lip reading. And true to his granddaughter’s word, the intonation of the British Isles was unmistakable in Bell’s speech. The voice is vigorous and forthright—as was the inventor, at last speaking to us across the years.”
Listen for yourself.