"Tucked away for decades in a cabinet in Thomas Edison’s laboratory, just behind the cot in which the great inventor napped, a trove of wax cylinder phonograph records has been brought back to life after more than a century of silence."
Adelbert Theodor Edward Wangemann represented Edison's invention in Paris at the World's Fair in the summer of 1889, to make sure that the new discovery reliably performed its technological magic. After the Fair, Wangemann brought the recording device on a tour of Germany, where he was able to impress- and record- many artists and prominent members of society with the "talking machine." We now know that he managed to record the voice of Otto von Bismarck, German Chancellor at the time, in his castle in Friedrichsruh, East of Hamburg, in Schleswig-Holstein, using this phonograph.
FIND THE ENTIRE NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE HERE --with photos and even brief --grainy!-- recordings from 1889-90. Artical is titled: Restored Edison Records Revive Giants of 19th-Century Germany by RON COWEN (Published: NEW YORK TIMES, January 30, 2012)
Per the article, other important finds include the first known recording of Chopin only recording of anyone born as early as 1800. Amazing! With today's technology, these old wax cylinders have finally been deciphered.