This is the basic story as I remember it also, except that it was not a
wire recorder that was used, it was a cylinder.
The fellow who had recorded the strange sounds realized what it was when
a battery died and the PB slowed way down.
Tom Fine wrote:
> The Poulsen wire recorder was used for this by German spies in WWI. If I
> remember the story correctly -- it was told in a two-part article about
> the history of magnetic recording in Audio Magazine back in the 1980's
> -- the spies would record reports in morse code at normal speed and then
> broadcast them from Long Island at high speed. Early radio experimenters
> in the US couldn't figure out what that was they'd pick up sometimes. A
> guy in, I think, New Jersey, recorded onto an Edison cylinder or disk
> one of the broadcasts, then slowed down the playback and figured out
> what it was. Authorities were notified and the spy ring was shut down.
> Sorry if my memory of the article is mangled, but I think this is the
> basic story.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "[log in to unmask]"
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 11:47 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Earliest recorded sound update on NPR
>> data compression ca. 1880
>> a technique that was not lost on WW1 spies...I wonder if they thought
>> of it themselves or if they knew of this device?
>> joe salerno
>> David Breneman wrote:
>>> As I recall, it was a similar disk-based device.
>>> The telegraph message would be recorded on it at
>>> "human" speed and send down the wire greatly sped up.
>>> It was recorded at the receiving end and played
>>> back again at the "natural" speed for a telegrapher
>>> to transcribe.