The object itself is a phonautograph, the earliest known recording device invented by Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1857. Unlike Edison's phonograph invented years later in 1877, the phonautograph was only designed to transcribe sound waves for visual analysis, and incapable of playing back a recording.
Lincoln's voice is found in the Museum of History Offices. It is located in the Library (the two-story room with the turret), upstairs, on a desk to the left of the hole blown in the main room up there.
As a part of the unmarked quest Lincoln's Profit Margins, it can be sold to:
- Hannibal Hamlin from Temple of the Union (for 50 caps to start, but 100 upon passing a Speech check)
- Leroy Walker at the Lincoln Memorial (for 50 caps, but 100 upon passing a Speech check)
- Abraham Washington in Rivet City (for 60 caps, but 120 upon passing a Speech check)
Although it no longer serves any purpose, this item is still found in the game files for Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- This is a reference to a legend that such a recording was actually made of Lincoln's voice in 1863 by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, the inventor of the phonautograph. Since the story did not appear until the 1960s, its authenticity is questionable.