Paul Spehr

Detecting the History of Sound-on-Film

posted August 24, 2010

Twenty-four frames of one of the earliest surviving recordings of sound-on-film, a test strip that Eugene Lauste made between 1910 and 1912, merely hints at the revolution that was to come. Only 24 frames long, it belongs to a Florida collector who bought it at an estate sale along with other items from Lauste’s obscure career. Alongside the frames, which show nondescript images of plants, lies a series of black squiggles that encode sound – perhaps the first sound ever simultaneously reproduced with images on film.

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