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

Related Articles

To save us, half of Earth needs to be given to animals

We're more dependent on them than we realize.

(Photo Lily on Unsplash)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
  • A natural climate strategy we often forget.
  • Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
Keep reading Show less

New infographics show how cigarette smokers are socially penalized

There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.

(Porch)
Sex & Relationships
  • The home improvement company Porch recently polled 1,009 people on their feelings about smoking.
  • The company recently published the results as infographics.
  • In terms of dating, 80 percent of nonsmokers find the habit a turnoff
Keep reading Show less

The "catch" to being on the keto diet

While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty
Surprising Science
  • Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
  • There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
  • One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Keep reading Show less