The Oldest Voices We Can Still Hear
The Oldest Voices We Can Still Hear
The 1800s aren’t usually remembered through sound. While Photographs allow us to see this century more vividly than any before it, the stern-faced Victorians stare back at us in silence from their portraits.

It was only in the 20th century that the phenomenon of playing back voices became so common that we take it for granted. But the technology to do so existed far earlier, allowing us to listen to the distant echoes of people who lived centuries ago. This video is dedicated to the oldest voices that can still be heard.


  • 4:22 humanity‘s first playable recording of its own voice from 1860
  • 5:02 the earliest known recording of intelligible human speech
  • 5:42 a song composed by Victor Massé
  • 7:59 recording of Mary had a little lamb+laughter in 1878
  • 11:05 oldest playable recording of a recognizable female voice
  • 13:36 Helmuth Moltke‘s congratulatory message to Thomas Edison


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