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Hardware Hacking

80-Year-Old Edison Recording Resurrected 133

embolalia writes "An 80-year-old recording of a live radio broadcast featuring Thomas Edison has been uncovered and reconstituted. The recording was done on an obscure technology called a pallophotophone — Greek for 'shaking light sound' — that uses optical film to reproduce sound. The archivists who uncovered the canisters tucked away on a bottom shelf in a museum in Schenectady, New York (the city where Edison's General Electric was founded), did not have any machine to replay the films. Two GE engineers — working nights and weekends for two years — were able to construct a machine to replay the old tapes, recorded only two years before Edison's death." There's a video at the link, which may or may not contain some of the resurrected recording, but we couldn't get it to play from the Times Union site.

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