1877 – The phonograph was invented
21st November 1877, Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.
A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910, or since the 1940s called a record player, is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound.
The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a “record”.
To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound.
In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener’s ears through stethoscope-type earphones.
Extra Note: Modern turntables continue to be manufactured and sold, although in small numbers being overrun by digital technology.
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