An expert in early sound recordings, Patrick Feaster talks about his personal collection of home recordings captured on wax cylinders in this episode. While many genealogists and local historians may have tracked down photographs of ancestors and others from the late Nineteenth Century, few would imagine that they might hear the voice of that person. However, Feaster explains that this medium,while not universally available, were very common in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Patrick works to raise awareness about this old technology and helps salvages some of these long forgotten remnants of the past by digitizing them. Much of the audio information stored on these old wax cylinders is lost forever, in part due to poor storage condition and years of neglect; however, wax cylinder enthusiast, may also be to blame for this vanishing medium. Today, many hobbyist enjoy making their own recordings using this early DIY medium, and some buy old cylinders on eBay and shaving them so they can rerecord on the vintage media. Because of this and other forces, the audio legacy from this earliest form of popular home recording is quickly disappearing.
In this episode, Patrick talks about his discoveries, and shares a few of the treasures in his collection. Patrick hosts the website Phonozoic where he answers questions and helps reunite people with the voices of their ancestors.Patrick received a Grammy nomination along with his collaborator David Giovannoni for their Historical Album Debate ’08: Taft and Bryan Campaign on the Edison Phonograph in 2008. (photo by Ronda L. Sewald)