Ron Cowen writing for the New York Times:
Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.
The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.
This is fascinating, and I hope that this makes possible the digitization of many more recordings that – for whatever reason – haven’t been already transferred.
One note though. The title says “ghostly”, but take that to mean scary. The recording of the Lord’s prayer really caught me off guard. Listen, yes, but turn down the sound. After all, children at the time found these dolls “more scary than cuddly”, and I don’t blame them.