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Earliest-born people photographed/voice-recorded

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(@sailor-haumea)
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Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (October 26, 1800 - April 24, 1891) was recorded on audio on October 21, 1889. As far as I know he is the earliest born person whose voice is on audio.
 
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930310
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@sailor-haumea there's a fantastic video about this and the first recordings of sound on YouTube. First in the 1860s by Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville and then by Thomas Edison and his colleagues in the 1870s and 1880s.

 

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(@sailor-haumea)
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@930310 While we're on the subject of that, I believe that John Salling (1856-1959) and Narcissa Rickman (1855-1968) were probably among the last people born in the 1850s to have been recorded on audio. Salling was interviewed (on video) in 1959 at age 102 about his experiences as a saltpeter monkey in the Civil War (he lost track of his age long before that and thought he was 112, although this appears to have been moreso illiteracy than anything else) and about life in Reconstruction-era Virginia. And of course Narcissa Rickman was interviewed at age 103 in 1958 about her life.


   
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024Tomi
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As far as I know, the second-earliest-born person with their voice recorded is one of the most well-known Hungarian historical figures, Lajos Kossuth (19 September 1802 – 20 March 1894). Although I personally think he is very much overrated, there are virtually no Hungarian settlements without a "Kossuth Lajos utca" (Lajos Kossuth Street), and there is even an American county named after him in Iowa. He lived his last decades in Turin, Italy. In September 1890, a group of Hungarians visited him and recorded a speech he gave them (he just turned 88 at the time).

Here's the recording on YouTube


Kossuth in 1892, at 90

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930310
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@024tomi What is he saying?


   
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024Tomi
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@930310 You can read about the speech and a translation here.

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Posted by: @sailor-haumea

@930310 While we're on the subject of that, I believe that John Salling (1856-1959) and Narcissa Rickman (1855-1968) were probably among the last people born in the 1850s to have been recorded on audio. Salling was interviewed (on video) in 1959 at age 102 about his experiences as a saltpeter monkey in the Civil War (he lost track of his age long before that and thought he was 112, although this appears to have been moreso illiteracy than anything else) and about life in Reconstruction-era Virginia. And of course Narcissa Rickman was interviewed at age 103 in 1958 about her life.

Robert Early (1849-1960) was interviewed a few times for his town's local radio station in his final years, so there's possibly some recordings from the late 1950s of a person born in the 1840s.

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Mendocino
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It seems like Helmuth von Moltke the Elder is treated like the conclusive earliest-born person to have their voice recorded, but I seriously wonder how likely it is that the voice of someone born in the 1700s exists on a phonograph cylinder somewhere, since the technology became (relatively) more popular around 1890s, when there were still plenty of people alive from the 1700s. I'm sure there would've been a desire to capture the stories of very old people, similarly to how a considerable effort was made in the mid 1800s to photograph the final surviving American Revolutionary War veterans. 

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024Tomi
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Posted by: @024tomi

As far as I know, the second-earliest-born person with their voice recorded is one of the most well-known Hungarian historical figures, Lajos Kossuth (19 September 1802 – 20 March 1894). Although I personally think he is very much overrated, there are virtually no Hungarian settlements without a "Kossuth Lajos utca" (Lajos Kossuth Street), and there is even an American county named after him in Iowa. He lived his last decades in Turin, Italy. In September 1890, a group of Hungarians visited him and recorded a speech he gave them (he just turned 88 at the time).

Here's the recording on YouTube

[...]

Interestingly enough, one of the earliest-born people ever recorded on film was Artúr Görgei (30 January 1818 – 21 May 1916), the man who became the leader of Hungary for two days between 11-13 August 1849, after Lajos Kossuth gave up his presidency. Görgei was also the Minister of War between 7 May and 7 July 1849, under Kossuth's leadership. He was one of the best generals of the Hungarian Revolutionary War of 1848-1849. Decades after the war, Kossuth condemned him in a public letter because he surrendered to the Russian army (even though he saved many-many lives with this move). Besides his military career, Görgei was a renowned chemist, and conducted productive researches in the field of acids.

Görgei's 90th birthday celebration in January 1908 was captured on film (some sources mistakenly say the clip was taken in 1910), which you can watch here:

He still appeared to be in very good shape here. Görgei eventually died at the age of 98 years and 113 days, on 21 May 1916 (the the 67th anniversary of one of his greatest military victories, the taking of Buda castle), after battling with influenza and pneumonia.

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Posted by: @024tomi

Posted by: @024tomi

As far as I know, the second-earliest-born person with their voice recorded is one of the most well-known Hungarian historical figures, Lajos Kossuth (19 September 1802 – 20 March 1894). Although I personally think he is very much overrated, there are virtually no Hungarian settlements without a "Kossuth Lajos utca" (Lajos Kossuth Street), and there is even an American county named after him in Iowa. He lived his last decades in Turin, Italy. In September 1890, a group of Hungarians visited him and recorded a speech he gave them (he just turned 88 at the time).

Here's the recording on YouTube

[...]

Interestingly enough, one of the earliest-born people ever recorded on film was Artúr Görgei (30 January 1818 – 21 May 1916), the man who became the leader of Hungary for two days between 11-13 August 1849, after Lajos Kossuth gave up his presidency. Görgei was also the Minister of War between 7 May and 7 July 1849, under Kossuth's leadership. He was one of the best generals of the Hungarian Revolutionary War of 1848-1849. Decades after the war, Kossuth condemned him in a public letter because he surrendered to the Russian army (even though he saved many-many lives with this move). Besides his military career, Görgei was a renowned chemist, and conducted productive researches in the field of acids.

Görgei's 90th birthday celebration in January 1908 was captured on film (some sources mistakenly say the clip was taken in 1910), which you can watch here:

He still appeared to be in very good shape here. Görgei eventually died at the age of 98 years and 113 days, on 21 May 1916 (the the 67th anniversary of one of his greatest military victories, the taking of Buda castle), after battling with influenza and pneumonia.

This 1888 extremely short film (or, more accurately, film clip) shows a woman born in 1816 and a man born in 1817:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundhay_Garden_Scene

The woman died just ten days after she was recorded on film:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Whitley

The man, her husband, died in 1891.

 


   
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Mendocino
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Not sure how we missed this, but I just found this article from 1891 that mentions the voice recording of a man named Horatio Perry (1790-1890), who was interviewed the year prior. 

A Cleveland (O.) Leader reporter has had the unusual, not to say wierd [sic], experience of hearing the voice of a man long since dead. The voice was that of Horatio Perry, a centenarian who passed away over a year ago, and it was reproduced perfectly through the agency of a phonograph. In January, 1890, Arthur Smith of this city visited Wellington, the home of Mr. Perry, taking a phonograph with him. It was suggested that the venerable gentleman talk into the instrument, and Mr. Smith readily assented. Mr. Perry was requested to relate an incident of his early life, and this is what he said into the mouthpiece of the phonograph: "I was born in 1790, and came to Cleveland in 1800. There was but one frame house in the village and my father purchased it. There was no road west of the Cuyahoga River and nothing there save woods— 'All the days of my life approach the end, and I wait until my change comes.'"

The last sentence is a Scriptural quotation that Mr. Perry greatly admired. Mr. Smith brought the cylinder used for Mr. Perry's voice to this city and locked it in his safe, where it has remained. Mr. Perry died not long after he spoke into the phonograph, and Mr. Smith professed to have a horror of hearing a dead man's voice, and he refrained from placing the cylinder in a phonograph until requested to do so by the reporter, who knew Mr. Perry. The voice was as natural as in life, and the pronunciation was clear.

According to this website, the phonograph cylinder containing the recording of his voice has since been lost. We can only hope it still exists somewhere, although I still have my doubts that this is the only person born in the 1700s to appear in a phonograph recording.  

Profile picture: Marita Camacho Quirós (1911-Present)


   
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