Radio Diaries

Professor Thomas Levin Rescues Audio Letters

Vinyl records arranged in a grid

Early voicemail as vinyl phonograph records.

“We’re all accustomed to recording and hearing our own voices. But in the 1930s, many people were doing it for the first time. And a surprising trend began. People started sending their voices to each other through the postal service. It was literally: Voice-Mail.

Most of these audio letters have been lost, but Tom Levin has made it his goal to rescue those that remain. He has a growing collection of about 4,000 in his Phono Post Archive at Princeton University.”

(Courtesy of the Radio Diaries Team)