The Phonograph

The First Voice recorder

Just the basics

The phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, was the first recording/playback device. Thomas Edison actually had the idea for the phonograph while trying to find out how to record and play back telegraph messages, when he discovered that he could play music as while as telegraph messages.

Early patent for the phonograph

Big image

How it works!

The first phonograph consisted of a sheet of tin foil around a grooved metal cylinder. On the side was a area in which you could talk or play music into. At the end of this area was a needle. The needle would vibrate and make indentations in the tin foil that you could later play back with a needle on the other side of the cylinder. The one flaw to this design however was that after a few playbacks, the tin foil would get tears in it making it no longer available to play back, which is the reason that the principle of a cylinder was soon changed to a large disc
How a phonograph works (sped- up)
The phonograph was very useful for important messages. If a general was not there in the time of a telegraph someone could speak the telegraph into the phonograph and play it back for the general and anyone else.

Nowadays people don't give the phonograph much thought or credit. It is one of the first music players. It evolved into the record player and from there on.

How it came to be

Thomas Edison came upon ways to record and play back his voice while trying to make improvements to the telegraph and telephone. The first words he ever spoke in to new and favorite invention were," Mary had a little lamb". He was amazed when he heard the words play back to him. After perfecting small flaws Edison formed the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company to sell his new invention. The most produced version sold for $60.00


This link contains most of my bibliography. The rest is below.

Bower, Meredith. "How Record Players Work." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. <>.