Voices From The Past

Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 06:34 pm
Have you ever wondered what Theodore Roosevelt actually sounded like? Or William Howard Taft?

Well, thanks to Thomas Edison, you don't have to wonder any more. Edison made recordings on cylinders of several noteworthy people of the early 20th century. These recordings are rare and seldom heard, but I found a cool site where you can listen to them.

Here's Teddy Roosevelt delivering a short speech about the "People's Right To Rule."

That's pretty much the way I thought he'd sound. I was sort of hoping he'd say, "Bully! Bully!" but unfortunately he didn't.
Want to hear Sarah Bernhardt doing a recitation of her role as Phedre? She was known all over the world for the emotional intensity of her captivating voice.
(But understand that, at the time of this recording, done in 1910, she was getting up there in age. I still think she sounds pretty good though.)

She actually starts out with a quivering, defeated kind of voice, but kicks it up to a more powerful one towards the end. Unfortunately, it's in French, because the one and only Bernhardt never bothered to learn any other language. Ha!

Here's Sarah

Pretty cool, huh? Now you can tell your friends that you've been listening to Teddy Roosevelt give a speech, and Sarah Bernhardt doing a recitationÂ…Â…and they'll think you're NUTS!

If you want to hear more voices from the past, you can visit these websites:


If you go to the Edison site (the second one), click on Edisonia to get to the recordings (then click on Sounds). You can listen to early 1900's vaudeville performers, or blues and jazz music. You can also view early Edison kinescopes.

Thomas Edison was the Youtube of his day!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 655 • Replies: 6
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Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 06:42 pm
I've always wondered what Jesus sounded like. I bet he had a really squeaky voice.
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Stray Cat
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 06:45 pm
By the way, Gus, I've always wanted to ask you....what were Teddy Roosevelt and Sarah Bernhardt really like?
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Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 06:49 pm
Teddy was a good guy. I couldn't think of a better guy to have a beer with and he always told some very good jokes.

Sarah gave excellent head.
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Stray Cat
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 06:52 pm
Bully! Bully!
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Reply Sat 28 Oct, 2006 10:01 am
sounds interesting
i will have a visit to those sites

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Stray Cat
Reply Sat 4 Nov, 2006 03:24 pm
You're welcome, jckhoa! I hope you like them. I thought they were pretty cool.
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