Impact of Sound 1st’s

February 21, 2017

A First Time for Everything

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1st’s in the world of sound impact on our world. Check out these world records related to sound.


1st Time Reaching the Speed of Sound

Breaking the sound barrier made scientific and aviation technology history!

The time leading up to the breaking of the sound barrier was a thrilling time in aviation. While the sound barrier was first named and understood around 1935 it was unknown whether or not a plane or human could withstand the speed necessary to literally move faster than the speed of sound.

The speed of sound is around 1,220km per hour at sea level.

In 1947 a US Air Force pilot Charles “Chuck” Yeager began experimental flights, in a craft nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis” after his wife. The novel design of the rocket-powered craft meant it did not take off from the ground but was rather dropped out of a B-52 bomber.

On Yeager’s seventh flight he and his plane reached a recorded Mach 1.06 and maintained supersonic speed for around twenty seconds allowing those on the ground to hear the first distinct Sonic Boom.


1st Time Recording and Playing Back Sound

With today’s technology we can store thousands of songs on a portable device & we have the following pioneers in sound storage to thank…

The first known recorded sound we know of was captured by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in the year 1860. Purportedly it is of a human voice singing but the quality is ‘poor’ and it is difficult to distinguish as such. Listen here:

In 1978 Thomas Edison improved on Martinville’s innovation and made the phonograph. He successfully made a 78 second long recording that is still playable today. It contains a musical performance that ends with a recitation of Mary Had a Little Lamb. You can listen to MP3’s of Edison’s early recordings here.

In 1889 the gramophone was invented. When it arrived on the scene it forever changed sound recording and play-back by utilizing a sturdier disk that could capture sound better. This paved the way for the first vinyl records produced in 1948.


1st Time Communicating on the Telephone

From the Telegraph to the Smartphone; research into transmitting sound as electronic impulses has evolved and played an important role in making technology like the internet possible!

In 1870 the discovery of how to transmit multiple messages along the same wire made the very first telephone possible – this breakthrough paved the way for other advances.

Mobile phones began development in the 1940’s and contributed to valuable radio communication during both the World Wars. The portable devices didn’t reach the mass market until the 1980’s.

In the 1960s we began to use orbiting satellites for communication purposes. Satellite phones now enable mobile communication to take place from just about anywhere on Earth!

The first Smartphone was introduced in 1994 and while the original model had limited function this tech has been progressed by modern culture demand. The company World WideWorx reported that in South Africa a country with a population of 54 million there are estimated to be 42 million Smartphone users already!


1st Time Designing and Implanting a Bionic Ear

Graeme Clark began to investigate the idea of electronically assisted hearing in 1967 as he desired to communicate with his Father who had a hearing disability.

In 1977 he received a grant from the Australian government specifically for the “The Development of a Hearing Prosthesis”. Engineers Jim Patrick and Ian Forster created the circuit diagram required by the world’s first bionic ear. The first proto-type was made possible after Clark found a way to get the electrode safely into the inner ear, an insight he gained whilst ‘toying’ with grass and seashells in his hands.

A mere two years later, Rod Saunders became the first cochlear implant recipient to receive a multi-channel audio processor.

Cochlear™ continues making the impossible possible and remains committed to a future of advancing sound restoring technology. For more 1st s from Cochlear™  click here.

To note: Jim Patrick remains the Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist for Cochlear™.


1st Sound Round Up

Happiest Sound Campaign

What sounds wonderful to you? Children laughing, rain on a rooftop, birds calling? If you have you ever wondered what “the happiest sound in the world” is join Southern ENT and Cochlear™ in the Happiest Sound Campaign.

Simply share a video, audio, photograph, or even a written description of your happiest sound with the hashtag #HappiestSound on social media.

All submissions will be compiled, categorised and counted on the website www.happiestsound.com

On March 3rd the sound winner will be announced to commemorate World Hearing Day – an international initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization.


One Goal, One Team. Together!

Southern ENT brought world class hearing technology to South Africa 1st and is proud to continue to do so.  Our goal is enabling individuals with hearing disabilities to access the world of sound. Our team is united and dedicated  to put you and your hearing health 1st. For more on how we put sound 1st read our Theme Overview.

For any information or advice, please call our offices on 011 667 6243

 Connect on Your Journey with Southern ENT via Facebook & Twitter


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