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Soundtrack to history: 1878 Edison audio unveiled

3:04 AM, Oct 25, 2012   |    comments
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CHRIS CAROLA
Associated Press

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - Researchers have recovered and digitized what experts say is the oldest playable recording of an American voice and history's first-ever recorded musical performance.

Also included: the first recorded blooper.

The recording was done on a sheet of tinfoil on a phonograph invented by Thomas Edison and made in St. Louis in 1878. It opens with a short cornet solo and is followed by a man reciting nursery rhymes.

Near the end of the 78-second recording, the man laughs after messing up one of the words to "Old Mother Hubbard."

The tinfoil and the newly digitized recording is being presented Thursday at a museum in Schenectady, N.Y., where Edison founded the General Electric Co.

Experts at California's Berkeley Lab recovered the recordings using technology developed for the project.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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