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The Invention of the Phonograph

Phonograph

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Replica of original phonograph

Replica of original phonograph

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The telegraph, the press, and the typewriter were agents of communication for the written word. The telephone was an agent for the spoken word. Another instrument for recording sound and reproducing it was the phonograph (record-player). In 1877, Thomas Alva Edison completed his first phonograph.

The phonograph worked by translating the 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. The record wore out after a few reproductions, however, and Edison was too busy to develop his idea further until later. Other did.

Phonograph machines were invented under a variety of different names, however, all reproduced with wonderful fidelity 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.

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