Dan and Jay Make the World’s First Comedy Recording

In 1854, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invented the phonautograph, the world’s first device designed to record sound.  Curiously, though, it was never intended to reproduce the sound back to a listener.  Instead, the sound existed as what we might today call a waveform on smoked glass, and only in the late 2000s was a method developed by which one could hear what had been recorded.  After seeing Daniel and Jason’s Winsome Diversions perform in Paris, Scott de Martinville asked the pair if they would like to record one of their sketches, “Boulevard de Cliché,” and the two agreed.  They explained to Scott de Martinville that they were exceedingly confident that a method would one day be used to translate their recording, but he laughed this off.

The archives contains the original smoked glass record, as well as paper prints made of it, but we have yet to coordinate the translation of the recording.  When we do, it will be added to the archives page, as well as given its own timeline entry.

The phonautograph

Author: Jay