As gearheads go, Brendan Chilcutt’s a pretty sentimental guy, and not just because he signs his correspondence with “love.” In January, 2012, he founded the Museum of Endangered Sounds to keep outmoded technology’s most iconic noises from vanishing from the collective memory. Click on any image in the museum’s online collection to be transported in the Proustian sense.
Some of the exhibits—a manual typewriter, a rotary phone—were already amply preserved, thanks to a proliferation of cinematic appearances in their heyday.
Others might well have slipped away unnoticed, if not for Chilcutt’s curatorial efforts. Remember that number you could call to have a recorded voice inform you of the correct time? How about the static of an analog TV tuned to an empty station? The hum of a malfunctioning Discman, the chirp of a Tamagotchi…wait, what’s that I hear? The disconcerting whoosh of time speeding up?
Drown it out by activating all thirty exhibits at once. Let them sound their barbaric yawps simultaneously as the kids try to figure out what that racket is.
h/t goes to @sheerly
Ayun Halliday is still trying to text on a cell phone from 2003