Published: Jul 14, 2011 8:52 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 14, 2011 7:52 PM EDT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Scientists believe a 123-year-old recording made by Thomas Edison was the first attempt at a talking doll and possibly the oldest surviving commercial recording.

A woman's voice can be heard singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

Edison hired the woman and made the recording in 1888 in West Orange, N.J., less than two years before he unsuccessfully put the doll on the market.

The recording showed up in Edison's Menlo Park museum collection in 1967. But the small piece of ring-shaped tin was so bent and damaged that scientists couldn't play it.

A laboratory in California used advanced imaging technology in May to reproduce the audio on a computer.

Scientists believe it's the first known instance of someone being hired to perform for a recording.

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