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Early Phonograph, 19th Century

Early Phonograph, 19th Century


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40.2 MB (2.6 MB compressed)

3900 x 3604 pixels

33.0 x 30.5 cm ⏐ 13.0 x 12.0 in (300dpi)

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The phonograph is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. In its later forms it is also called a gramophone. The phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison. While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison's phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet wrapped around a rotating cylinder. A stylus responding to sound vibrations produced an up and down or hill-and-dale groove in the foil. Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and telecommunications; stock ticker, mechanical vote recorder, attery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. He died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, in his home. The phonograph is said to have been his.

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