On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell spoke nine words that heralded our modern age of rapid long-distance communication. “Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you.” And then, as soon as he spoke the words, they were gone. For more than 137 years we have had to use our imagination as to what Bell’s voice sounded like, but as of today that is no longer the case. Bell made several recordings in the late 1800s, but due to the fact that the instruments needed to play back these recordings no longer exist, it has been impossible to hear them. What’s more, the recordings are so fragile, that if modern hardware were used to listen to them they would be instantly destroyed. Thanks to the Smithsonian Institute’s use of state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology, audio has been recovered from a wax and cardboard disc dated April 15, 1885, where Bell says the words: “Hear my voice — Alexander Graham Bell.” You can hear this remarkable recording below, and to learn more about the significance of what you’re about to hear, as well as the very first American recording of a human voice from a recording in 1878 in St. Louis, be sure to visit The Atlantic.