Online Archive Preserves Sounds of Bygone Technology

Conserve the Sound is like a museum for noises that could go extinct.

Sony Walkman   (Photo by Bildquelleullstein bild via Getty Images)
Sony Walkman (Photo by Bildquelleullstein bild via Getty Images)
ullstein bild via Getty Images

Technology is constantly messing with our senses of nostalgia, imprinting sounds of familiar machinery into our brains and then doing away with those sounds as the technology evolves. A new Fast Company story spotlights Conserve the Sound, the online archive that preserves the sounds made by machines and accessories that are now obsolete.

Inside the archive you can find anything from a Nintendo Entertainment System to a Sony Walkman to an Olivetti typewriter. The German archive was founded in 2012 on the idea that much of the archiving work done to preserve old machines focuses on the physical machine and its visuals, often excluding what it once sounded like to interact with the machine.

“Visuals dominate in our life. Sound seems to play a secondary role. We wanted to break that habit,” reads the press kit released by Conserve the Sound founders Daniel Chun and Jan Derksen. The archive will only grow more relevant as the sounds of 20th Century technologies grow more distant in our memories.

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