Phonograph Invented


On December 15th, 1877 Thomas Edison applied for a patent on his phonograph. Edison initially believed it would be used to record business sessions, or family voices. Edison became famous with this invention and was invited to the White House for a demonstration.


Thomas Edison was researching methods of transcribing telegraph messages by indenting a paper tape. AS he was working on it he realized that the same idea could be used to record telephone conversations. He came up with the idea of a diaphragm that vibrated with sound and would then make indents on paraffin paper. Edison replaced the paper with a metal cylinder covered tin foil. Edison gave his mechanic John Krusesi a sketch of what to build and its told that he built the first sample in 30 hours. Edison tested the first version of the phonograph by singing Mary Had a Little Lamb. The device played it back flawlessly. The accepted date that this is supposed to have occurred was August 12, 1877. He filed was filed on December 24, 1877.

Edison showed the phonograph for the first time when he brought it to the offices of Scientific America. The magazine reported “"Mr. Thomas A. Edison recently came into this office, placed a little machine on our desk, turned a crank, and the machine inquired as to our health, asked how we liked the phonograph, informed us that it was very well, and bid us a cordial good night." In January 24, 1878 Edison founded the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company . For the next 20 plus years sound arrived on cylinders, eventually after the turn of the century cylinders were replaced by the record disks similar to todays’s discs.