With the aid of digital imaging and computer science technology a wax-covered cardboard disc, remembered by museum curator Carlene Stephens, the voice of Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was heard again.
“Hear my voice – Alexander Graham Bell,” the audio autographed recording said.
Research from the historical archives and a handwritten transcript confirmed its origins and authenticity as part of almost 400 other audio artifacts donated by the man himself.
Stephens, who has been employed at the museum since 1974, told Reuters: "Their experimental nature and fragile condition ... made them unsuitable for playback."
These items were not completely forgotten, but rather stored in “hope for the day playback technology would catch up with our interest in hearing the content,” Stephens explained.
After hearing about the Berkeley Laboratory’s recovery of the French tune “Au clair de la lune” from soundwaves and sooty paper, she deemed the disc recovery possible for Bell’s donated items.
Stephens explained the historical importance of the items as it also revealed personal attributes of the inventor, for example his Scottish accent.