Preserving America's Earliest Recordings

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These days, almost every computer and cell phone has software to download or record and save our favorite songs. Of course, it wasn’t always so simple. Thomas Edison created the first phonograph in 1877, an invention that recorded sound on tinfoil-covered cylinders. But many of the recordings from Edison's day were lost to history — until the founders of Archeophone Records stepped in. 

Richard Martin and Meagan Hennessey are the husband-and-wife team behind Archeophone Records in Chicago. Archeophone has rescued and preserved some of America’s richest recording history.