30 x 12 cm
Soot-blackened paper

Sound recording using the “Phonautograph”

The paper strip is the first documented recording of the vibrations of human speech. It was recorded by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville using what he called the “Phonautograph” and was attached to his patent in 1857. To make the recording, a bristle mounted at the end of a megaphone engraved the vibrations into a blackened piece of paper stretched over a drum.