apr 1, 1887 - Phonograph
In 1877, Thomas Alva Edison completed his first Phonograph. The phonograph worked by translating air vibrations created by the human voice into minute indentations on a sheet of tinfoil placed over a metallic cylinder, and the machine could then reproduce the sounds which had caused the indentations. Also, it was the tin foil was made into a cylinder; the cylinder would rotate around in a circle with a stylus touching it. When the sound vibrated, the stylus was touching the tin cylinder, it would indent the tin making a perfect copy of the sound. The first song recorded and played back was Edison saying the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” The record wore out after a few reproductions, however, and Edison was too busy to develop his idea further until later, others did. Phonograph machines were invented under a variety of different names, however all reproduced the human voice, in speech or song, and the tones of either a single instrument or a whole orchestra. Through these machines, good music was brought to those who could hear it in no other way. Other inventors soon discovered the great invention and began to work with it themselves. One of these men was Charles Sumner Tainter of the ‘Alexander Graham Bell Company.’
Added to timeline:
Unit 5: Music Technology in Context.