First Sounds has pioneered the recovery of sounds recorded on phonautograms - many of which were made before Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. The samples below are among the world's earliest sound recordings.
These sounds are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (by) license and may be redistributed or sampled; all we ask is that you provide First Sounds with a copy of your work. Also, if using the sounds on your website, please save the file and host on your server. Note that these files are not excerpts; they are the full tracks as processed so far.
- Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville's Phonautograms
- Charles Batchelor's Phonautograms (recorded for Thomas Edison)
- Experimental Recordings from the Volta Laboratory