The case of the mysterious earphone

Beaujour, mes amis,

today, I’m proud to announce the opening of the French version of Registrar Trek! Now our French readers have the possibility to read posts directly, not only as PDF and to subscribe to a French newsfeed. Thanks to Aurore Tisserand for translating all the necessary texts to make this possible. We celebrate this achievement with a post about a French-German cooperation in collections research made possible by the fantastic Registrar Trek network, especially by Marine Martineau.

À bientôt
Angela

Earphone

Earphone

„Didn’t you take French at school?“ my colleague Bernd Kießling asked across the table, looking up from a set of earphones he was documenting.

“I can order you a tarte flambée and a café au lait but might accidentally provoke an international conflict when trying to order a hotel room, why do you ask?” I said, looking up from a long list of objects that had to be cross-checked with our data base.

“This earphone is made in Paris, but I’m not sure about the manufacturer. Have a look.”
I moved over and took a look at his monitor where he showed me the tiny inscriptions he magnified by using an USB microscope*.

Detail of one receiver of the earphone, picture taken by the USB microscope

Detail of one receiver of the earphone, picture taken by the USB microscope

“Slé INDlle des…” I spelled out, “I don’t know, seems like an abbreviation of some kind, maybe the manufacturer, but I don’t know. You know what? I’ll send the picture over to Marine. She’s in Paris, so maybe she can help us with that.”

Marine Martineau, registrar and translator for English/French at Registrar Trek received the mail a few minutes later. She took a look and passed it along to Thierry Lalande, collections manager at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. He and his colleague Marie Sophie Corcy had the idea to ask Frédéric Nibart, a wide-known expert of the French phone.

Within a few days we knew that the earphone was built in July 1928 by the Société Industrielle des Téléphones in Paris. We even received an article from M. Nibart about their company history which we immediately included in our data base.

It was a great feeling of international collaboration made possible by the worldwide network of Registrar Trekkers. We really hope we can return the favor one day.

Angela

Storage solution for the collection of earphones: These long archival boxes are usually used for storing maps but have exactly the right dimensions to support earphones in the position most “natural” to them. For final storage we will support them with some bubble wrap and make a hood out of polyethylene foil for the boxes.

Storage solution for the collection of earphones: These long archival boxes are usually used for storing maps but have exactly the right dimensions to support earphones in the position most “natural” to them. For final storage we will support them with some bubble wrap and make a hood out of polyethylene foil for the boxes.

* = The USB microscope was originally part of a hands-on demonstration in a temporary exhibition and has a second and very useful live now in artifact research.

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This post is also available in: German French

2 comments

  1. Janice Klein says:

    Felicitations — tres formidable!

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