You are browsing the archive for Audio: Pre 1900s.

W.F. Hooley reads Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1898)

- November 19, 2013 in abraham lincoln, Audio, Audio: Pre 1900s, Audio: Speech, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, gettysburg address, Internet Archive, Library of Congress, speech, Underlying Work: PD 50 Years, Underlying Work: PD 70 Years

150 years ago today, on November 19th 1863, President Lincoln delivered his famous speech at the dedication of the Gettysburg Civil War Cemetery, a cemetery set up to house and honour the dead from one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War which had taken place four months earlier (the sad aftermath of which is pictured above in a photograph by Timothy H. O’Sullivan). Abraham Lincoln’s carefully crafted address was in fact meant to be secondary to other presentations that day, following on as it did from a two hour speech by the orator Edward Everett. Although Lincoln’s was only just over two minutes long in it’s delivery, it came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In it’s short span, Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union sundered by the secession crisis, with “a new birth of freedom,” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens. Lincoln also managed to redefine the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality. […]

James Mooney’s Ghost Dance Recordings (1894)

- April 2, 2013 in Audio, Audio: Pre 1900s, Audio: Traditional, Cherokee, collections, Ghost Dance, James Mooney, native americans

A series of recordings made by James Mooney in 1894 of different Native American Ghost Dance songs. According to the Library Of Congress notes that accompany the recordings, the performances are probably by Mooney himself and not by Native Americans. Mooney was an ethnographer and self-taught expert on American tribes through his own studies and his careful observation during long residences with different groups, specifically the Cherokee. He did major studies of Southeastern Indians, as well as those on the Great Plains. His most notable works were his ethnographic studies of the Ghost Dance after Sitting Bull’s death in 1890, a widespread 19th-century religious movement among various Native American culture groups. According to the prophet Jack Wilson (Wovoka)’s teachings, proper practice of the dance would reunite the living with the spirits of the dead and bring peace, prosperity, and unity to native peoples throughout the region. MP3 Download Part 1 / Part 2

Morning on the Farm (1897)

- October 5, 2012 in animals, Audio, Audio: Pre 1900s, Audio: Speech, berliner, collections, imitations

A recording from the Library of Congress Berliner collection – the performer N.R. Wood imitates various animal sounds heard during the early morning, including sheep, cattle, cock, hens, guinea hen, turkey, hawk, crow, and other birds. Recorded in Washington, D.C. by Berliner Gramophone, 5th August 1897. MP3 Download Internet Archive Link Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Around the World on the Phonograph (1888)

- April 16, 2012 in Audio, Audio: Pre 1900s, Audio: Speech, early recording, edison, non-article, phonograph

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Thought to be the oldest surviving recording of Thomas Edison’s voice, made in October 1888 he describes an imagined trip “around the world on the phonograph,” by Cunard steamer from New York City to Liverpool, through Europe and Asia, noting specific ships, railroads, cities, and points of interest en route. In the following decades Edison’s phonograph invention would itself spread “around the world”.

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    Robert Browning attempting to recite ‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’ (1889)

    - March 16, 2012 in Audio, Audio: Pre 1900s, Audio: Speech, early recording, edison cylinder, How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix, non-article, robert browning

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    The voice of great English poet, Robert Browning (1812 – 1889) recorded while at a dinner party given by Browning’s friend the artist Rudolf Lehmann, on April 7th, 1889. The sales manager of Edison Talking machine, Colonel Gouraud, had brought with him a phonograph to show the guests and to record their voices. Browning, though reluctant at first, eventually gives in and begins to recite his poem ‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’. Unfortunately, he “cannot remember me own verses” and gives up going on to expressing how he certainly won’t forget though this “wonderful invention”. He was to die just under 8 months later. When the recording was played in 1890 on the anniversary of his death, at a gathering of his admirers, it was said to be the first time anyone’s voice “had been heard from beyond the grave.”

    I sprang to the saddle, and Joris, and he;
    I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
    ‘Speed’ echoed the wall to us galloping through…
    ‘Speed’ echoed the…
    Then the gate shut behind us, the lights sank to rest…


    I’m terribly sorry but I can’t remember me own verses,
    but one thing that I shall remember all me life is the astonishing [inaudible] by your wonderful invention.

    Robert Browning!

    [other voices]
    Bravo, bravo, bravo.
    Hip, hip, hooray.
    Hip, hip, hooray.
    Hip, hip, hooray.
    Bravo.


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