Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Golden Voice

Pencils, giant handsets, John Milton’s L’Allegro, and “At the fourth stroke it will be four forty-three and forty seconds”:

The Golden Voice, British Pathé, 1935.

From 1936 to 1963, E. W. Cain, or more accurately, Ethel Jane Cain, “The Girl with the Golden Voice,” was the recorded voice of the United Kingdom’s speaking clock. BBC News explains:

Ethel Jane Cain, the first voice of the speaking clock, won the role in a Post Office competition called “Golden Voice” in 1935. For the first time in the UK, callers dialling TIM (846) were greeted by a recording of Ms Cain giving the Greenwich Time — correct to one-tenth of a second.
Here is a clip with Cain and the speaking clock:

Time Please!, British Pathé, 1938.

And one more clip of the speaking clock in action:

Time Please!, British Pathé, 1945.

And here is the same speaking clock still going in retirement.

A related post
Time of Day operator, Chicago 1937

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