photo caption: Scott’s Phonautograph
Edison has been known as the father of recorded sound since 1877, but Ã‰douard-LÃ©on Scott de Martinville, a French type-setter and tinkerer recorded a woman singing the folk song â€œAu Clair de la Lune” some 17 years earlier than Edison. The difference is that Scott’s device, the Phonautograph, could not play back audio, but just record it. You can hear the recordings at firstsounds.org. For more info, read the NY Times article.