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Edison phonograph. Historical artwork of men making a sound recording onto an improved version of Edison's phonograph in 1888. They are recording the Handel Music Festival at the Crystal Palace, London, England. The phonograph or gramophone had been devised in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison (1847- 1931). It consisted of foil wrapped on a wax cylinder. To make a recording, a free-floating needle was skimmed over the foil as the cylinder was rotated. The needle was connected to a trumpet-like sound receiver. The needle vibrated in time to the sound waves and made etchings in the foil. This etching could then be used to play back a distorted but recognisable recording.
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