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The Media

Sound Bites of the 1908 Presidential Candidates 410

roncosmos writes "Science News has up a feature on the first use of sound recording in a presidential campaign. In 1908, for the first time, presidential candidates recorded their voices on wax cylinders. Their voices could be brought into the home for 35 cents, equivalent to about $8 now. In that pre-radio era, this was the only way, short of hearing a speech at a whistle stop, that you could hear the candidates. The story includes audio recordings from the 1908 candidates, William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft. Bryan's speech, on bank failures, seems sadly prescient now. Taft's, on the progress of the Negro, sounds condescending to modern ears but was progressive at the time. There are great images from the campaign; lots of fun."

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