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Listening to the past, recorded on tin foil and glass, for the first time in over a century

Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell in at their Volta Laboratory in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison worked from his Menlo Park facilities, and Emile Berliner worked in his independent laboratory in his home. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders, respectively. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 10, 2012 - 21 comments

Socialist London commuters celebrate!

The Guardian Newspaper is changing to a Berliner format. This follows similar moves by both The Independent and The Times. The familiar Guardian masthead is also being revised, with the familiar and much loved sans-serif font being replaced by an entirely new font.
posted by Elpoca on Sep 9, 2005 - 51 comments

Berliner

Berliner? Or broadsheet. Or tab? Your newspaper may be changing, its looks, its ownership and how it markets itself. Do you value or even need your local paper? Or can you and your neighbors do it yourself? (Scroll down to "backfence" link.)
posted by etaoin on Mar 23, 2005 - 12 comments

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