Thomas Edison Recites “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in Early Voice Recording

In the late 1870s, Thomas Edison, America’s prolific inventor, perfected the phonograph and captured a very early recording of the human voice – his own voice reciting the still popular nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb. (Get mp3 here.) Later, the Edison cylinder also recorded for posterity Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, the 1812 Overture, etc.) talking with other musicians in a light moment.

The Edison cylinder was actually preceded by another sound-recording device, the phonautograph, invented by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1857. Not long ago, scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory extracted a recording not heard in 150 years, a voice singing the French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune.”

Related Content:

Mark Twain Captured on Film by Thomas Edison (1909)

Bike Tricks Courtesy of Thomas Edison



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  1. Daryl says . . . | June 26, 2011 / 3:00 am

    Check out my iphone/ipad app that teaches how to play this song on piano ….
    Its all for a good cause!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n36BXVLKWWQ&feature=related
    http://www.appsforhunger.com

  2. rafsan says . . . | June 26, 2011 / 3:57 am

    check out my iphone/ipad app that teaches how to play this song on piano ….
    Its all for a good cause!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n36BXVLKWWQ&feature=related
    http://www.appsforhunger.com

  3. bappy says . . . | July 10, 2011 / 11:00 am

    very good song

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