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Think Tank

The Museum of Endangered Sounds

As technology evolves, so do the sounds that we associate with our favorite gadgets. It's difficult to recall the ring of one's first cell phone. But some of these noises--like the spinning number dial of a rotary phone or the crunching keys of a typewriter--stay with you for life. And if they don't, there's now a museum that preserves sounds of commonly used technologies.

It's called the Museum of Endangered Sounds and offers a host of sound effects from phased-out, once beloved products.

From Wired UK:

A character called Brendan Chilcutt has created the online "museum" in early 2012 to preserve the sounds made famous by his favourite old devices, such as the "textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR" (ah, yes). As new products come to market, these nostalgia-inducing noises become as obsolete as the devices that make them.

"Chilcutt" is actually the name of the creative team behind this initiative--Phil Hadad, Marybeth Ledesma, and Greg Elwood--three friends looking to break into the advertising industry. 

This doesn't take away from the magic of their Big Idea. The site says:

 "Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking qwerty keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: who will play my Game Boy when I'm gone?"

"But for us, when we hear something like the old dial-up modem, or the sound of a pay phone, it takes us back to a time when our lives were simpler. And we realized we were pretty happy. Or it looks that way now. Maybe it's the struggle to live in the moment that has caused us to fall so utterly in love with these dying sounds, but we feel they're worth preserving."

Read the rest of Wired UK's story or visit the "museum."

Image credit: MikeyMcKay/Flickr

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