Alexander Graham Bell Speeches & Audio

World's Oldest Recording

(1) tv-pg

World's Oldest Recording

(1 min) tv-pg

On April 9, 1860, 17 years before Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville made a recording on a “phonautograph,” which worked by tracing sound waves onto paper blackened by smoke. Unplayable for more than a century, the recording was recently brought to life by new audio technology. On the recording, Scott is heard singing a snippet from the French folksong "Au Clair de la Lune."