There was a pretty good interview with Carl Haber of Lawrence Berkeley Lab on PBS Newshour tonight.
Basically, the tinfoil was in the museum in the former GE complex in Schenectady NY, known to have
been used in an exhibition in St. Louis. The curator at the museum was able to find from-the-day
newspaper clippings and identify the speaker and I think Carl said that the cornet player was known
previously. It's not Edison speaking on the recording, so it must be that previous tinfoil
recordings made by Edison either cannot be retrieved by Carl's method or no longer exist. Perhaps
other listmembers know more facts in that area?
In case Carl or any of his crew are on-list, that's really phenomenal work you've done. I'm thinking
about a day when between optical scanning of grooves and computer synthesis and artificial
intelligence, it will be common to "erase" wear and damage so something like a one-of-a-kind
Paramount can be played as clearly as when it left the factory (which in those cases may not be all
that clear, but better than what we have on the one nearly-shot suriviving specimen when played by
Speaking of all this, has anyone looked at revisiting Tom Stockham's work on "de-horning" acoustic
recordings, I think that was the first or some of the first commercially-used digital signal
processing (used by RCA to "de-horn" Caruso recordings)? Also at marrying the "de-horning"
algorhythms with Carl Haber's work on optically reading grooved media? My thinking is, you can
improve the audibility of the old acoustic recordings he's retrieving if you compensate by either
partially eliminating the effect of the recording horn or creating the effect of the playback horn.
I think Stockham's research went both ways and his DSP ended up being a little of both, but I admit
never being able to fully digest his AES papers on the topic, not being an engineering or math
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
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Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 7:28 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Tinfoil recording revived from 1878
> Has anyone seen this story? Who did the restoration and by what method?