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April 9, 2011 / jmeuropeana

first sound recordings, Arras, Treaty of Antwerp

On the 9th of April –

The earliest known recording of a human voice is made in 1860 (!) using the Phonautograph, an invention by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. We have an image of the machine, actually the ‘microphone’ or sound-capturing device of it. The whole purpose of the machine was to record and visualise sound waves, not to reproduce them. The recordings have since been ‘read’ using new techniques, allowing us to listen to a voice recording from 1860. I would really love to have these in Europeana!
Here is a somewhat scientific essay about this machine, from 1864 – the inventor is referred to simply as ‘Scott’:
Studien über den Phonautographen von Scott : vorgelegt in der Sitzung vom 3. November 1864

In 1917 the Battle of Arras started. Together with the Nivelle Offensive, this ‘Big Push’ promised to end the war in 48 hours – in stead the battle lingered on for six weeks, costing a total of 300.000 casulaties and yielded precious little results – certainly not the hoped-for breakthrough.
We have quite a few images about Arras and the battle around it, particularly from Scran (otherwise not my favourite Data Provider in Europeana, because any image over a thumbnail size requires payment or a subscription with them)
German soldiers supporting an injured Canadian near Arras, in France, during World War I
You can find the other images here.
And yes, we do have a souvenir plate from Arras, albeit from an earlier period:

In 1609 the Dutch and the Spanish signed the Treaty of Antwerp, initiating a Twelve Year Truce (Twaalfjarig Bestand) in the Eighty Years’ War, better known as the Dutch War of Independence:
Het 12-jarig bestand te Antwerpen afgekondigd
In the truce, the Dutch found the time to do plenty of (political and religious) fighting amongst themselves, leading amongst others to the murder (disguised as a trial and execution) of Republican van Oldebarneveldt at the instigation of Prince Maurice of Orange.

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