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"Poised between intransigent scepticism and uncritical credulity, it [science fiction] is par excellence the literature of the open mind."
- John Brunner

Historical Listening Machine  
  Device can hear sounds from down through the ages.  

Enjoyable premise plays out, with a surprising ending.

"After all, Weatherby, sound is vibration, and vibrations, once set in motion, never die."

I heard sounds that no one living for ages had heard; I heard voices of those who had been dust for centuries.


('The Machine That Knew Too Much' by A.T. Locke)

I heard ancient Greeks discussing politics in the Forum, and Romans talking of war outside a temple. Sounds and voices came to me, out of that miraculous cabinet, from all ages and from all parts of the world...

From The Machine That Knew Too Much, by A.T. Locke.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1933
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