(Image source: BBC)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR JAMAL ANDRESS

A box of wax cylinders discovered in a London attic held a special heirloom for one British family — and also what may be the oldest surviving recording of a family at Christmas.

“Here we are again, another Christmas, 1904. And we must say that this is one of the jolliest we have spent and trust we may have many more together.”

The recordings were made on an old phonograph by the family’s patriarch, Cromwell Wall. They were passed down to Wall’s grandson, David Brown, who didn’t know what was recorded on them and didn’t have the equipment to play them. So he handed them off the the Museum of London. (Images via Geoff Robinson / Daily Mail)

The museum’s curator said she expected to just hear static, but the recordings were remarkably clear, like this one of Wall’s seven-year-old son singing The Minstrel Boy.

“‘When I first heard the recordings, I have to say that the hairs on my arms stood on end. It was fantastic. It was like a window opening into the past.” (Video via BBC)

Brown said it was moving to hear both his grandfather and great grandfather, who both died before he was born. But The World reports it was also a major find for the museum.

“For curators, the find was incredible for two reasons. First, it is rare for wax cylinders like this to survive intact for so long. And second, such devices were mostly used at the time by offices for dictation and the like, not by individuals looking to record their “funniest home audio.”

There were 24 recordings in all, spanning every year from 1902 to 1917.

 

Oldest Recording of Family at Christmas Discovered

by Steven Sparkman
0
Transcript
Dec 20, 2012

Oldest Recording of Family at Christmas Discovered

 

(Image source: BBC)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR JAMAL ANDRESS

A box of wax cylinders discovered in a London attic held a special heirloom for one British family — and also what may be the oldest surviving recording of a family at Christmas.

“Here we are again, another Christmas, 1904. And we must say that this is one of the jolliest we have spent and trust we may have many more together.”

The recordings were made on an old phonograph by the family’s patriarch, Cromwell Wall. They were passed down to Wall’s grandson, David Brown, who didn’t know what was recorded on them and didn’t have the equipment to play them. So he handed them off the the Museum of London. (Images via Geoff Robinson / Daily Mail)

The museum’s curator said she expected to just hear static, but the recordings were remarkably clear, like this one of Wall’s seven-year-old son singing The Minstrel Boy.

“‘When I first heard the recordings, I have to say that the hairs on my arms stood on end. It was fantastic. It was like a window opening into the past.” (Video via BBC)

Brown said it was moving to hear both his grandfather and great grandfather, who both died before he was born. But The World reports it was also a major find for the museum.

“For curators, the find was incredible for two reasons. First, it is rare for wax cylinders like this to survive intact for so long. And second, such devices were mostly used at the time by offices for dictation and the like, not by individuals looking to record their “funniest home audio.”

There were 24 recordings in all, spanning every year from 1902 to 1917.

 

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