This is the story of a great project, perhaps initially launched as a bit of a joke but which hides the eminent depths of human cultural heritage.
There is such a thing as the Museum of Endangered Sounds, born to preserve the memory of these vanished or endangered sounds that were part of our background noise for years and well deserve a place in our memory.
The museum is a small treasure chest of sounds connected to now obsolete technology. In reality, many of these sounds are connected to our childhood, our first contact with new technology or our daily lives before electronic devices became silent.
The online museum consists of a gallery of animated GIFs, just click to bring out all those old emotions: from the catchy sound of Pac-man to the noise that a rotary telephone made when dialling, from the Windows 95 start-up composed by legendary Brian Eno to the invasive noise of the 56k modem.
The museum was established in 2012 by Brendan Chilcutt. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that this charming nerd is actually an online personality created by Phil Hadad, Marybeth Ledesma and Greg Elwood, at the time three university students hoping to break into the world of advertising.
The museum website states that Brendan’s goal was to complete a ten-year plan where the first phase, collection of these precious sounds, would be finished by 2015.
We tried to contact Brendan for an update, sadly without success. The automatic “Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently” response to our email does not give us much hope but we’ll try again here. Brendan, get in touch if you’re out there!