Come and listen to a man playing his trombone, 113 years ago...

Tuesday 27th July, 1897, and in New York, twenty-six-year-old Arthur Pryor is hard at work recording the song “There’ll Come A Time” on his trombone. Its only twenty years since Thomas Edison first recorded sound.

Here, come and listen to Arthur for yourself…

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Four months ago William McKinley became the 25th President of the United State, three months ago Oscar Wilde was released from Reading gaol, and last month Queen Victoria of Great Britain celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. Oh, and there’s been a Gold Rush for ten days now, up in the Klondike.

Arthur has been playing the trombone all his life - he was a child prodigy and played with his older brother Walt on cornet and younger brother Sam on drums. In the future he will have his own Ragtime band, become a Democrat politician, and live into the 1940s…

But all that’s way off. Because right now its 1897, Arthur is playing his trombone again, and outside the door is a hot, sticky, crowded July day in New York City.

Listen carefully. Can you hear it?

Thank you to Roger Wilmut.