Today in History: Edison Invents the Phonograph

| November 21, 2016

slide design-Edison Invents Phonograph-03From smart machines to wizards, we move to inventors. Some consider Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847- October 18, 1931) to be one of the greatest inventors of all time, for he smartly and prolifically developed technology that greatly influenced our lives. Innovation and invention, research, development, and commercialization became the foundation of the industrial research laboratory, as represented through his work at the science laboratories in Menlo Park and West Orange. Edison patented close to a staggering 1,100 devices — – among them, the phonograph, movie camera, and electronic light bulb. His love for play and experimentation fed learning and success.

Playing with a stylus on a tinfoil cylinder in his Menlo Park, New Jersey science lab, Thomas Edison discovered that a short recorded song could be played back. So Edison invented the phonograph on November 21, 1877! It was his first great invention and one that would prove highly popular for listening to music. The great inventor perfected his invention and established his own company, the National Phonograph Company, complete with record labels.

If you are interested in reading more, be sure to check out the Library of Congress website Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies.

The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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