Europe

Otto von Bismarck voice recording released

A wax cylinder recording of German statesman Otto von Bismarck has been released, the first time his voice has been heard for more than 100 years.

The recording was made in 1889 by a technician working for the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison.

It has now been restored using digital technology by the Thomas Edison National Historical Park museum.

The Otto Von Bismarck Foundation in Germany has called the discovery "sensational".

The Foundation had believed the recordings to be lost.

The cylinder was among 17 found in 1957 in an unlabelled box at Edison's laboratory in the US state of New Jersey.

Bismarck is barely audible on the recordings but can be heard reciting extracts of poetry, songs, and giving words of advice to his son.

Intriguingly, at one point he also breaks into the first lines of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise.

The cylinders have also yielded songs and rhapsodies by German and Hungarian musicians, including what is thought to be the first ever recording of a work by Polish composer Frederyk Chopin.

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