The awesome sound of 156 office machines from the '60s

by 07 Dec 2012

Back in the day, offices used to be a cacophony of industrial sounds. Yet as engineers aim to make modern machines as silent as possible, the days of metal on metal are long over. But golly, the sounds of 156 industrial machines working together do sound mighty cool.

To honour the bygone era of mid-century workplaces, Swiss composer Rolf Liebermann composed a short song of 156 machine sounds not heard together since the 1960s.

According to UbuWeb, which hosts the original, the machines include: “16 typewriters, 18 calculator machines, 8 accounting machines, 12 office perforators, 10 caisses enregistreuses, 8 humidificateurs-colleurs, 8 tele-scripteurs, 2 metronomes, 4 bells of signalisation, 2 entrance door gongs, 10 claxons, 16 telephones, 40 experimental signal receptors, 1 fork lift, a duplicator and a monte-charge.”

Hear the piece of music made from the sonic detritus of a pre-digital workplace below.