February 19, 1878

Feb19On this day in 1878, Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

Edison is responsible for many inventions, but his favourite (and mine) was the phonograph. While tinkering to improve the telegraph and the telephone, Edison figured out a way to record sound on tinfoil-coated cylinders. Edison designed a machine with two needles: one for recording and one for playback.

Edison’s first words spoken into the mouthpiece were “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, and he was quite amazed when he heard the machine play them back to him.

In 1878, Edison established the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company to sell the newly invented machine.

Edison suggested other uses for the phonograph, such as: letter writing and dictation, phonographic books for blind people, a family record (recording family members in their own voices), music boxes and toys, clocks that announce the time, and a connection with the telephone so communications could be recorded. All which have been designed and are in use today.

1 Comment on February 19, 1878

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