When we first talked about SAC having the honor of doing the conservation work on Edison’s tinfoil back in April (see the blog entry from April 19th), we said that the foil was being prepared for digital scanning in an effort to retrieve the sound imbedded upon it more than 130 years ago. As we at SAC researched Edison’s life, we discovered that when this particular tinfoil was made, Edison had only one phonograph, and it was he who traveled the country, demonstrating it in hopes he could find buyers for his fabulous new invention. The bottom line is that Edison’s voice is probably on it.
How exciting is that?
|Edison's tinfoil before treatment.|
The Schenectady tinfoil, that SAC treated, which had been folded several times and then crammed into an envelope, required extensive flattening before it could be scanned. And so, after some nerve-racking and incredibly delicate treatment, it left SAC’s studio and has traveled to California where the sound is being carefully coaxed from its surfaces. So the big question is: who is on it and what did they say?
|Scanning the Edison foil. photo from Schenectady Museum|