Scientist at Berkeley have played back one of the oldest recordings of the human voice ever made, made by Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville.

Why is this significant you may ask?

Well the device that made the recording, a 19th Century Phonautograph recorded the sound visually 17 years before Edison got his patent for the same device. The clincher? There was no way that recording could be played back until now.

Pretty cool? Yeah, but still receives my vote as one of the most useless devices ever made. “Ok Remy, ze first reecording ever! Now how do wee play ze thing back? Oh, um …”

Here’s a link to the MP3: Link

Image courtesy of:
NY Times