George Robert Vincent

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George Robert ("Bob") Vincent (July 17, 1898 - November 13, 1985) was a pioneer in the field of sound recording and archiving.[1]

It was once believed that in 1912, he brought a wax cylinder recording device, which he had borrowed from his friend Charles Edison, to the home of former President Teddy Roosevelt, and convinced Roosevelt to speak into it.[2] However, this pivotal event occurred on March 4, 1913, according to Allen Koenigsberg's latest published research. Thus began Vincent's private collection of voice recordings of notable individuals and witnesses to history.

In 1922, after graduating from Yale, he joined Edison Laboratories.[3] and worked in the restoration and preservation of antique recordings.

During the Second World War, Vincent helped establish the Armed Forces Radio Service; in 1943, his intervention in the musicians' strike led to the creation of the V-Disc,[4] and he was subsequently awarded the Legion of Merit for his contributions to troop morale.[1] After the war, he served as Sound Recording Officer at the Nuremberg Trials.

In 1962, he donated his collection of over 8,000 voice recordings to the Libraries of Michigan State University; it became the basis of the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library, which as of 2015 has over 100,000 items. Vincent was named assistant to the Director of the Libraries of MSU and curator of the Voice Library, a position he retained until retiring in 1973.[1]


  1. ^ a b c About G. Robert Vincent, from the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University, published November 10, 2005, retrieved August 5, 2011
  2. ^ Recorded Music in American Life: The Phonograph and Popular Memory, 1890-1945, by William Howland Kenney, Oxford University Press, 1999, via Google Books
  3. ^ Victory Music, by Chuck Miller, originally published in Goldmine, February 1999; re-published at the Albany Times-Union, May 31, 2010; retrieved May 10, 2011
  4. ^ Uncle Sam Goes Pop!, at BBC Radio 2, published 17 Aug 2009, retrieved May 10, 2011

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