Edison's first cylindrical phonograph.

Edison's first cylindrical phonograph.

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Caption: Edison's first phonograph. First cylindrical phonograph or gramophone invented in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931). His favourite invention, it consisted of a tin foil wrapped on a cylinder (at centre). To make a recording, a free-floating needle was skimmed over the foil as the cylinder was rotated by a handle (at left). The needle was connected to a sound receiver (at centre right). The needle vibrated in time to the sound waves and made etchings in the foil. If a sound horn was attached, this etching could then be used to play back a distorted but recognisable recording of a person's voice.

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Keywords: communication, communications, edison, edison phonograph, gramophone, historical, history of science, phonograph, technology

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