Fact File about the Invention of the Phonograph: Invention: Phonograph *** Date of Invention: 1877 *** Name of Inventor: Thomas Edison *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1847 - 1931 *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category:
Personal Entertainment *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Thomas Edison, and the invention of the Phonograph ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Phonograph? The Phonograph was invented by
Thomas Alva Edison in 1877 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of
inventions (1850 - 1914).
Fact 2: Who invented the Phonograph? Prior to the invention of the
Phonograph in 1877, people had to create their own music by playing various
musical instruments such as the piano. The opportunities
for listening to music were only available at certain times such as music played
in church, at concerts, in theaters or as a social event at someone's home.
Fact 3: Who invented the Phonograph? The invention of the Phonograph by
Thomas Edison brought music into people's homes, that they could repeatedly
listen to at their leisure. The Phonograph enabled the reproduction of music and
moved concert halls, operas and theater music into living rooms.
Fact 4: Who invented the Phonograph? The invention of the Phonograph
would not have been possible without the innovations of the Industrial
Revolution that heralded the invention of the telegraph, the telephone and the
Age of Electricity.
Fact 5: Who invented the Phonograph? In 1838 Samuel Morse invented the
Telegraph system that transmitted signals by using
an electrical machine to send signals by a wire to a receiving device. In 1876
Alexander Graham Bell invented the "speaking telegraph", known as the
Telephone that transmitted the sound of the human
voice via electronic equipment. Thomas Edison speculated whether sound could be
recorded and invented the Phonograph.
Fact 6: Who invented the Phonograph? The inventor of the Phonograph, Thomas Edison, was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, United States and died on October 18, 1931.
Fact 7: Who invented the Phonograph? The early years of Thomas Alva
Edison were spent in Milan, Ohio, United States and then in Michigan where he was raised by his family.
His father Samuel Edison worked in the ship building industry and his
mother Nancy was a school teacher and a major influence in Thomas Edison's early
life.. Thomas Edison was educated at excellent home education
Fact 8: Who invented the Phonograph? The early years of Thomas Edison were spent in Milan, Ohio, United States where he was raised by his
wealthy family. Thomas Edison briefly attended a couple of conventional schools
but was primarily educated by his mother at home, gaining a far better education
than most children of his time.
Fact 9: Who invented the Phonograph? His passion was science and
chemistry and, encouraged by his mother, he built his first laboratory in
the cellar of the family’s Port Huron house. Thomas Edison was fascinated by the
new inventions of the Industrial Revolution and studied the workings of the
steam engine, battery power
and electromagnetism, electricity and the telegraph.
Fact 10: Who invented the Phonograph? At the age of 20, Thomas Edison got
a job working as a Western Union telegraph operator and the ever inquisitive
Thomas Alva Edison began experimenting with various telegraph instruments. He
made and patented several inventions including a printing telegraph for gold
bullion and foreign exchange dealers. Thomas Alva Edison became a full time
Fact 11: Who invented the Phonograph? In 1877, Edison was working
on a machine that would transcribe telegraphic messages through indentations on
paper tape, that could later be sent repeatedly over the telegraph. The
telegraph’s message could quickly be recorded and sent out to a recipient in a
Fact 12: Who invented the Phonograph? This work led Thomas Edison to
speculate whether a telephone message could also be recorded in a similar
fashion. Messages taken via a telephone call had to be listened to by a person
then written down and then passed on.
Fact 13: Who invented the Phonograph? Thomas Edison experimented with an
electrical diaphragm to make a voice into an electrical signal, using an
embossing point that was held against rapidly-moving paraffin paper. He did this
by taking the stylus from the telegraph and attached it to a diaphragm connected
to a telephone.
Fact 14: Who invented the Phonograph? Thomas Edison then changed the
paraffin paper to a metal cylinder with tin foil wrapped around it. Edison
theorized that by speaking into a mouthpiece tube, the sound vibrations would be
indented onto the cylinder by the recording needle with a horn attached to it
pressed against the foil.
Fact 15: Who invented the Phonograph? Thomas Edison gave a sketch of the
machine to his mechanic, John Kruesi, who reputedly built the machine in just 30
Fact 16: Who invented the Phonograph? An excited Thomas Edison
immediately tested his "talking machine" by speaking the nursery rhyme "Mary had
a little lamb" into the mouthpiece. To his delight and amazement, the machine
played his words back to him!
Fact 17: Who invented the Phonograph? Thomas Edison called the machine a
Phonograph, meaning "writer of sounds", taken from the Ancient Greek word 'phono'
meaning "sound" and the Ancient Greek word 'graphos' meaning "to write".
Fact 18: Who invented the Phonograph? Thomas Edison received US Patent
number 200,521, dated 19, February, 1878, for the 'Phonograph or Speaking
Machine'. An early demonstration of the Phonograph startled and astonished
people, when without ceremony the crank was turned and the machine suddenly
said, "Good morning. How do you do? How do you like the phonograph?". What an
Fact 19: How does the Phonograph work? To record sound the phonograph
worked by speaking into a tube. The sound energy from the voice made a diaphragm
vibrate, pushing a needle to and fro and cutting a groove into the metal foil,
that was wrapped around the cylinder. The cylinder was slowly turned by a
wind-up motor. To play back sound the phonograph another needle pressed into the
groove, bouncing up and down in the grooves previously cut there. Another
diaphragm and horn amplified the sounds so they could be easily heard.
Fact 20: Who invented the Phonograph? The Edison Speaking Phonograph
Company was established on January 24, 1878 to market and sell the Phonograph
machine and Thomas Edison went on to concentrate on inventing the incandescent
light bulb in the race for electric light.
Fact 21: Who invented the Phonograph? Thomas Edison introduced the
Improved Phonograph by May of 1888 changing the metallic foil cylinders
with white wax cylinders made of beeswax, ceresin and stearic wax.
Fact 22: Who invented the Phonograph? The inventor Emile Berliner,
replaced the wax cylinders with a flat phonograph record disc across which the
stylus moved horizontally, rather than vertically as on a cylinder. The records
were played on Emile Berliner's invention that he called the Gramophone.
Fact 23: Who invented the Phonograph? The names of the phonograph and the
gramophone were slowly replaced by the simple term 'record player' and changed
society and personal entertainment forever. The phonograph signaled the birth of
a new form of entertainment in which people could listen to their choice of
music in their own homes whenever they wanted to.
Fact 24: Who invented the Phonograph? Thomas Edison died, due to
complications of diabetes, on October 18, 1931 in his home, "Glenmont" in
Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey.