A Collection of Obsolete and Disappearing Sounds

Obsolete Sounds

The participatory sound project Cities and Memory has put together “Obsolete Sounds”, a giant collection of sounds that have become obsolete or are quickly disappearing. Each sound has been recorded as is and then remixed with other music to create a new auditory experience.

The project documents not just the much-missed sounds that evoke memories from the past, but also highlights some that we’re in danger of losing. It aims to draw attention to the world’s disappearing soundscapes, and what we can do to preserve and save socially and culturally important sounds for future generations.

The list includes dated technology, cameras, electronics, household items, office and farm equipment, military gear, and listening devices.

The collection includes:

– Obsolete home entertainment such as VHS tapes, Walkman cassette players, video games consoles and film projectors

– Vintage military equipment like World War II codebreaking machines, warplanes and air raid sirens

– The evocative sounds of old typewriters, Teletype machines and printing presses

– The world of transport – steam trains, vintage racing cars, 100-year-old farm equipment and London Underground C-stock

– Domestic appliances from the past including hand mixers, Bakelite switches, fans, shavers and coffee grinders

– Reflections on the disappearing sounds of the natural world, industrial processes and cultural traditions

via Nag on the Lake

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.