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Musée de l'Aventure
TV, CD, DVD, MP3 players – it’s impossible now to imagine a day without music or commentary of some kind, but a hundred and fifty years ago capturing and recording sound was in its infancy.
The end of the 19C and early 20C was the time when the first cars were being produced and the Wright brothers were making their first flight. These inventors were the forerunners of technology.
The Musée de l’Aventure du Son is a small museum in St-Fargeau devoted to the history of recorded sound, illustrating how these ingenious brains of the time developed their ideas. Phonographs, radios and mechanical music machines, numbering over 1000 are on display, all in excellent condition.
A Frenchman Charles Cros first came up with the idea of sound reproduction but he had neither the means or contacts to further the idea. The first working model of the phonograph was produced by that prolific inventor Thomas Alva Edison in 1877 who could make it work in more ways than one – he had both money and connections in high places. The first machine was made up of a revolving cylinder wrapped in tin foil and a horn connected to a membrane, fastened to a steel stylus. By cranking the handle you could play-back or record.
The phonograph developed into the record player, magnificent barrel organs for streets and fair grounds were produced, and eventually radios with those large delicate looking protruding valves.
The ex-mayor of the town started this museum by donating his own collection and the display has developed from there. A section is devoted to Edith Piaf whose dulcet tones typify the era.
Musée de l’Aventure du Son, St-Fargeau is open every day from May to Sept from 10.00 –12.00 and 14.00–16.00. March, April and Oct afternoons only. Closed Tues.
Instructive website: www.aventureduson.fr