Earliest Christmas Day home recording discovered by Museum of London

The earliest known home recording to have been made on Christmas Day has been discovered by the Museum of London.

The rare collection of recordings, taken over several years, date back to 1902 and capture the daily lives of a middle-class family in north London. One recording from Christmas Day 1902 captures the whole family singing ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.

The 24 two-minute recordings are believed to include the earliest surviving audio of Christmas time in the UK, if not the world. They were found on wax cylinders belonging to the descendants of the Wall family who recorded many of their Christmas and New Year gatherings on a phonograph machine between 1902 and 1917. The Wall family lived in, what were then, the new suburbs of New Southgate and Friern Barnet in north London.

The Museum of London has made all 24 recordings available for the public to listen to via its website – visit www.museumoflondon.org.uk/Collections-Research/Collections-online. The Museum has asked that if anyone believes they know of an even earlier domestic recording to get in touch via 020 7001 9844 or [email protected]

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