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The Challenge: Record a Sound or Voice

How do we play it back?

Jonathan and Kate listening to the recording Assuming that you have something recorded onto the wax cylinder it's now time to try and play it back. After coming to the end of the wax, we carefully removed the drawing pin stylus and made sure that it was well away from the cylinder. We wound the handle in the other direction so that the wax cylinder was brought back to the start position. The stylus was put back carefully onto the start of the groove but this time slightly less deep than we had it for recording. We turned the handle at the same rate and direction as we did when we recorded the sound and listened. The stylus will pick up a noise from the groove but on top of that noise, if you are very lucky, you will hear your recording.

Web Links

The producers are not responsible for the content of external websites.

Thomas Edisonís Phonograph from the Bizarre Stuff webpages
Tinfoil.com - dedicated to the preservation of early recorded sounds
The Phonograph Makersí Pages
Sound Waves and Music from the Physics Classroom website
Anatomy of the ear on the Central California Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Group site


Advanced Physics by Tom Duncan, John Murray 2000; ISBN: 0719576695