History is able to truly spring to life thanks to modern technological advancements in film and sound. And the voices! Some of them beloved and familiar, while others may surprise us - especially considering that some of the oldest and most famous historical voices were actually recorded in the 19th century on Edison wax cylinders.
There are a surprisingly large number of famous people whose voices can be listened to today all thanks to the unique recording devices that were developed throughout history. It is as if we are able to travel back through time and get to know the people we've only ever been able to read about. So, lend an ear, and check out these famous historical voices.
Thomas Edison is the man we can thank for all those lovely, restored wax cannisters that hold upon them the voices of figures long passed.
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park", he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. Edison was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. More significant than the number of Edison's patents ...more on Wikipedia
Age: Dec. at 84 (1847-1931)
Birthplace: Milan, Ohio, United States of Americasee more on Thomas Edison
Amelia Earhart gives an uplifting speech to women around the world in 1936, one year before she went missing in the Pacific.
Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this record. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. Earhart joined the faculty of the Purdue University aviation department in 1935 as a visiting faculty member to counsel women on careers and help inspire others with her love for aviation. She was also a member of the National Woman's Party, and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. During an attempt to ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Atchison, Kansas
Recorded on October 29,1914, on six Edison wax cylinders, Houdini discusses his water torture trick.
Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as "Harry Handcuff Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can. In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London's Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. ...more on Wikipedia
Age: Dec. at 52 (1874-1926)
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungarysee more on Harry Houdini
Who could ever resist that whispery, magical voice? First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy presented both an audio and video tour of the White House on February 14, 1962.
Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis was the wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and First Lady of the United States during his presidency. Five years later she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis; they remained married. Jacqueline was the elder daughter of Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and Janet Norton Lee, who divorced in 1940. In 1951, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature at George Washington University and went on to work for the Washington Times-Herald as an Inquiring Photographer. ...more on Wikipedia
Age: Dec. at 65 (1929-1994)
Birthplace: Southampton, New York, United States of Americasee more on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis