Special Report

25 Oldest Things in the World

Source: yosoyyoprobando / YouTube

1. Recording
> Oldest: Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, “Au Clair de la Lune”
> Approximate Date: 1860 A.D.
> Location: Paris, France

Many people believe Thomas Edison invented recorded sound, but it appears that a French inventor named Édouard-Léon Scott made the breakthrough several years earlier. Scott patented his phonautograph in 1857. It is believed that Scott himself sang a part of the French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune” into his machine in 1860, creating the first known musical recording. Scott’s phonautograph and recordings weren’t discovered by historians until 2007.

Source: Rebecca A. Moss, University of Minnesota / Wikimedia Commons

2. Photograph
> Oldest: Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s “View from the Window at Le Gras”
> Approximate Date: 1826-1827 A.D.
> Location: Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France

Though it’s not as clear as the photographs we see today, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s “View from the Window at Le Gras” was an astonishing development in technology. Likely taken in 1826 or 1827, the photo shows Niépce’s estate in Burgundy, France. Niépce actually captured another image in 1822, but his “heliograph” of an engraving of Pope Pius VII was destroyed when he tried to copy it years later.

Source: Alexander Franke / Wikimedia Commons

3. Globe
> Oldest: Behaim Globe
> Approximate Date: 1491 A.D.
> Location: Nuremberg, Germany

The Erdapfel, which roughly translates to “earth apple” from German, wasn’t the first globe created, but it’s believed that it is the oldest surviving 3-D model of earth. The Erdapfel is also known as the Behaim Globe, named for its creator Martin Behaim. Though it was impressive for its time, the Behaim Globe was proved to be inaccurate soon after its creation. Christopher Columbus brought word of the Americas back to Europe shortly after it was finished.

Source: Khonsali / Wikimedia Commons

4. University
> Oldest: University of Al Qaraouyine
> Approximate Date: 859 A.D.
> Location: Fez, Morocco

Originally founded as a mosque, the University of Al Qaraouyine opened in 859. The mosque was established by Fatima Al-Fihri, daughter of a wealthy merchant who used her inheritance to found the institution. It drew leading Muslim scholars to speak there. The building fell into disrepair, but Morocco’s culture ministry had it restored starting in 2012.

Source: Courtesy of StPeter

5. Restaurant
> Oldest: Stiftskeller St. Peter
> Approximate Date: 803 A.D.
> Location: Salzburg, Austria

After more than 1,000 years, Stiftskeller, the world’s oldest restaurant, is still operating in St. Peter’s Abbey, in the same building it was founded. Some of the restaurant is actually carved into the stone cliffs near the original abbey. The historic restaurant claims that it has hosted numerous celebrities and royals. Stiftskeller also happens to reside in the same town where Mozart was born, so it hosts Mozart nights. Patrons can listen to professional renditions of the master composer’s works while dining.