from the now-that-is-an-oldie dept.
Tree131 writes "The New York Times is reporting that sound recordings pre-dating Edison's made by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a Parisian typesetter and tinkerer, were discovered by American audio historians at the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. The archives are on paper and were meant for recording but not playback. Researchers used a high quality scan of the recording and an electronic needle to play back the sounds recorded 150 years ago. 'For more than a century, since he captured the spoken words "Mary had a little lamb" on a sheet of tinfoil, Thomas Edison has been considered the father of recorded sound. But researchers say they have unearthed a recording of the human voice, made by a little-known Frenchman, that predates Edison's invention of the phonograph by nearly two decades.'"
... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage
from beginning to end.
-- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"