The Phonograph


Who invented the Phonograph? The name of the person credited with inventing the Phonograph is Thomas Alva Edison (1847 - 1931). Thomas Edison is not only famous as the American inventor of the Phonograph but also as a publisher, businessman and entrepreneur. When was the Phonograph invented? Thomas Edison invented the Phonograph in 1877, patented in 1878, during the Second US Industrial Revolution (1850 - 1914). In 1879, almost immediately following his invention of the Phonograph, Thomas Edison invented the first commercially viable and practical incandescent light bulb.

Definition of the Phonograph: The Phonograph is defined as an early form of gramophone in which grooved, rotating records in the form of cylinders or grooved disks to cause a stylus to vibrate and the vibrations are amplified acoustically or electronically to reproduce sounds. In its later forms the Phonograph was also called a gramophone and then simply a record player.


Facts about who invented the Phonograph


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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 inventor.

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 telegram.

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 hours. 

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 introduction!  

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.

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