It was in 1854 that Frenchman Léon Scott de Matinville began research into sound visualisation. In 26 January 1857, he received a patent from the Académie des Sciences for the phonautograph. This patent defined ‘a method of drawing or writing by sound, and for multiplying the result of this graphically with a view to industrial applications’. This device bore a close resemblance to the future phonautograph, but its application was and is limited as it could not reproduce the sounds. Despite that, the phonautograph became the first machine to record sound waves.
L'Aventure du Son was able to begin with the future invention of a device that recorded and reproduced speech via a purely mechanical method: the gramophone
|By studying the human ear, Scott de Martinville came up with a device consisting of a horn (auricle) that terminated in a thin membrane (the tympanum). A hog's bristle was fixed in place at the centre of this membrane. The membrane vibrated at the hint of sound vibrations. The recording and reproduction was completed thanks to the vibrations traced by the bristle on a lamp-blacked glass plate. At the centre of this membrane was a hog's bristle fixed in place|